Retired Australian teacher Garry Paul Mulroy is hoping allegations he molested young boys while volunteering in Cambodia will be annulled when his case is heard by an appeals court in Phnom Penh next week.
The court will decide whether or not to drop charges against Mulroy, 64, who allegedly persuaded six boys, all from poor families, to have sex with him in exchange for food and money.
If convicted he faces 15 years imprisonment for soliciting children for prostitution, after spending the past year inside Siem Reap Prison with bail denied.
Mulroy’s defence commissioned a report by Ross Milosevic, a Gold Coast-based risk management consultant, into his arrest.
It followed a 10-month investigation that found the charges were a bid by police, NGOs, judiciary and government officials to extort money.
“This is a common occurrence and practice in Cambodia within the judicial process that has provided a lucrative minority of government officials and corrupt defence lawyers to work hand in hand with an extra bonus or what I call, reparations,” Milosevic said.
He said police interviews with the six boys were not conducted with adult/parental supervision or legal representation and were made “under extreme duress, intimidation and extortion”, and made to ensure charges against Mulroy would secure a conviction.
“These interviews were a clear violation of Cambodian and standard police procedures,” he said, adding this was grounds for the case to be annulled when heard by the appeals court on March 6.
Copies of the report alongside requests for help have been sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, the attorney-general and the head of the Australian Federal Police.
“Garry’s friends and supporters have been advised to prepare for the worst but hope for the best by his lawyer, simply as a result of the corruption that he faces within the Cambodian justice and law-enforcement systems working together in a well-organised extortion ring within small-town Siem Reap,” said a letter to the prime minister signed by Joel Saye, who holds power of attorney over Mulroy.
In response, a letter from Payne’s office said the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh was monitoring Mulroy’s case and offering consular assistance.
“However, as you appreciate, the Australian Government must respect the legal processes of another sovereign country and cannot intervene in it’s judicial processes,” she said.
Mulroy, a former teacher at Lismore’s Trinity Catholic College, led a group of Year 11 students to Siem Reap in 2014, where they built houses for Cambodia’s poor.
He moved to Cambodia and worked as a volunteer for Feeding Dreams Cambodia (FDC) and the Cambodian English School of Higher Education Organization (CESHEO), Milosevic said, before later establishing Education House with the six boys as his initial students.
According to local press reports, Khoem Vando, a child protection specialist with Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), has claimed Mulroy brought the boys, aged 11 to 14, to his home in the commune of Slorkram where he allegedly sexually abused them in November 2018.
Milosevic said there was a close and “extremely pertinent” relationship between FDC and it’s director Kerry Huntley.
His report sent to Mr Morrison includes a statutory declaration from another expatriate who spent time with the boys after Mulroy was arrested.
“Each of the boys clearly stated that Garry had done nothing inappropriate to them,” the declaration said.
“I can honestly say these boys were never abused by the accused. The boys’ honesty and demeanour showed no attitude that they were ever mistreated or abused sexually in any way,” it said.