|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1976 to 1995 : SG Judicial Jun 1994|
Judicial CP - June 1994
New York Daily News, 22 June 1994
Los Angeles Times, 26 June 1994
Fay describes caning, seeing resulting scarsfrom Reuters
KETTERING, Ohio -- Michael Fay, the U.S. teen-ager who was caned in Singapore for vandalism, said prison officials told him he shouted "I'm dying!" when the first stroke was delivered but he could not remember making the cry.
Fay said in an interview Friday that a prison officer stood beside him and guided him through the ordeal saying: "OK, Michael, three left; OK, Michael, two left; OK, one more, you're almost done."
He said the four strokes with a cane that he received seven weeks ago had left three dark-brown scar patches on his right buttock and four lines, each about half-an-inch wide, on his left buttock.
The 19-year-old said he looked at the scars in a mirror only two days ago, after being freed from prison and returning to his father's home here, and "I got a shiver down my back, and I couldn't believe I might have them here for the rest of my life."
He said the caning, which he estimated took one minute, left a "few streaks of blood" running down his buttocks.
But his description of the punishment appeared less horrific than accounts of caning in the past.
"The skin did rip open, there was some blood. I mean, let's not exaggerate, and let's not say a few drops or that the blood was gushing out. It was in between the two. It's like a bloody nose," Fay said.
Cable News Network, 29 June 1994
Michael Fay Interview On Larry King
Larry King Live, June 29, 1994
All rights reserved CNN
SHOW: Larry King Live 9:00 pm ET
Transcript # 1160
LENGTH: 8367 words
ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Larry King Live. Tonight, his caning in Singapore made headlines around the world. Now, Michael Fay tells his story for the first time on television, joined by his Philadelphia attorney, Theodore Simon. Now, live from Washington, here is Larry King.
LARRY KING: Good evening. One day he was just a typical American kid finishing up high school, the next day he's locked up in a Singapore prison and the focus of world attention. Michael Fay was charged with spray painting cars and other acts of vandalism. The punishment for vandalism in Singapore is caning. He spent 83 days in jail and suffered four strokes with a rattan cane. But Michael Fay says he's innocent. He joins us in Washington to tell us his story, for the first time on television. Also here is his Philadelphia attorney, Theodore Simon, who co-founded the International Legal Defense Counsel, to help Americans who are jailed abroad. And we thank Ted for his assistance in preparing and arranging for this program tonight.
Michael, thanks for coming. Let's go back a little. What were you doing in Singapore?
MICHAEL FAY, Singapore Caning Subject: Well, I first went over to Singapore in March of '93 to visit my mom and my stepfather, who moved over there in '92.
KING: Your parents were divorced.
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: Your mom remarried, and the person she remarried works in Singapore?
Mr. FAY: Right. So, I went over there for just a holiday and I fell in love with the place. It's a beautiful country.
KING: You had finished high school?
Mr. FAY: Right. But I didn't know anything about the law there.
KING: But you liked it?
Mr. FAY: I did.
KING: So you decided to stay?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I decided to stay, and I went over there in July of '93.
KING: Was your dad happy with that, back in Ohio, that you were going to leave and go down there?
Mr. FAY: Yes, he was, as well. And it was a big change for me. And he knew that I could learn a lot of different cultures, as well.
KING: Did you plan to go to college in the States?
Mr. FAY: I did. I have always planned to go to college in the States. I just wanted to finish up my high school in Singapore.
KING: Not a bad idea. And still plan to go to college in the States?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I do.
KING: Your stepfather and you get along?
Mr. FAY: Yes, very well.
KING: What does he do in Singapore?
Mr. FAY: He works for Federal Express. He was one of the type of presidents for the Far East nations.
KING: Your mom work, too?
Mr. FAY: No. She was a housewife.
KING: So you lived with them?
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: And, did you work and go to school? Were you doing part-time- what-
Mr. FAY: I did work in the summer of '93 for Hard Rock Cafe of Singapore, and I did go to school there, as well, in high school.
KING: You were a waiter?
Mr. FAY: I was a waiter.
KING: How well do they do there, by the way?
Mr. FAY: Great.
KING: Yeah? Does well everywhere.
Mr. FAY: Yeah.
KING: OK, so what- what happened on the day- was it a day that this-
Mr. FAY: Yes, it was.
KING: What happened?
Mr. FAY: Well, Mr. King, it-
KING: Call me Larry.
Mr. FAY: OK. OK. Larry, it occurred on October 6, 1993. There was a boy named Shiu Chi Ho. He's a Hong Kong boy who is in jail now. He was brought into the police station about 4:00 A.M. in the morning, with another boy. And, he was driving his father's car, illegally, underage, and he had practically stolen the car. And so, he was brought in. And, to this point, he was only going to receive a fine for all he had been given. Now the records show that he did not get beaten before-
KING: What does he have to do with you?
Mr. FAY: OK, I'll explain that. What happened was, he took a policeman aside in the police station and said, 'Here's a list of people who really did it.'
THEODORE SIMON, Fay's Philadelphia Attorney: They were actually querying him. There was a lot of vandalism going on.
KING: But let Michael- OK. So- and- and- there was vandalism going on in the city?
Mr. FAY: Yes, there was. It was- it was occurring in September.
KING: So this boy was charged with it, and included other people on the list that he said did it. And you were on that list?
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: Did you know this boy?
Mr. FAY: I did before. But I hadn't -- I hadn't seen him since August, until I was brought into the police station.
KING: How were you- how did they come to arrest you? Where were you?
Mr. FAY: They came to our- the Singapore American School, where I attended school, and arrested about four or five guys, as well as me.
KING: Just came in? You were in class?
Mr. FAY: They just came in. We were taken out of class. The principal said that the police were just going to ask us some questions.
KING: And they brought you where?
Mr. FAY: Down to the- they first took us to my house, and also the Malaysian juveniles' house. And they found some road signs in there. And then they took us down to the police station.
KING: OK. What had you done, Michael?
Mr. FAY: The only thing I have done is taken some signs.
KING: Like stop signs?
Mr. FAY: Right. Construction signs, lights, and some Singapore flags.
KING: Like 18- and 19-year-old kids do?
Mr. FAY: Exactly.
KING: And you were going to use this, like, as- take it home with you and put it in your-
Mr. FAY: I just wanted to show it in my room. There was no game involved in it.
KING: And you never vandalized a car?
Mr. FAY: I did not vandalize any cars.
KING: When they asked you about the cars, you denied it?
Mr. FAY: I denied it at first, until the confession came, which, I couldn't take any more of it. It was going on for two days, and on the third day I went to court, they held me for an extra seven days, and they said, you know, 'We're going to beat you up. We're going to put you in the aircon room.'
KING: The what?
Mr. FAY: The aircon room. The aircon room is- they strip you down to your underwear, they bring you into a room lower than- much lower than room temperature, and they pour water all over you. And-
KING: For what purpose?
Mr. FAY: Just to try to make you confess?
KING: And they were doing this to the other boys, as well?
Mr. FAY: No, they were not doing this to any of us yet. They did not do it to any of the boys.
KING: But they threatened to-
Mr. FAY: But I saw boys come in and out of there, local boys.
KING: No bail?
Mr. FAY: There was- there was no bail when I was in the police station.
KING: So when they arrested you, you were there-
Mr. FAY: For the nine days.
KING: -for the nine days, until?
Mr. FAY: Until-
KING: You confessed.
Mr. FAY: I confessed.
KING: Then they let you out?
Mr. FAY: No, they didn't. They still kept me there the seven days.
KING: But you were in prison altogether how long?
Mr. FAY: I was in prison for 83 days, plus an extra nine days-
Mr. SIMON: He was in- he was in jail for nine days, initially, during the interrogation.
KING: Then they let him go home?
Mr. SIMON: Then they let him go home.
KING: Why didn't you leave the country then?
Mr. FAY: Because they took my passport.
KING: So you couldn't- you couldn't-
Mr. FAY: I could not leave.
KING: You couldn't get away? When did you know you were going to be caned?
Mr. FAY: I did not know until the second I was brought up into the yard, where they do the flogging. And-
KING: Did they tell you in court, 'Your sentence is caning?'
Mr. FAY: They did tell me in court, but I did not- I did not know what day it was going to be on.
KING: In other words, they just tell you. Did you know it was reduced?
Mr. FAY: I did. I found out on the day I was- about an hour, actually, before I was caned.
KING: Did you pay a fine for the vandalism of taking the signs?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I did.
KING: Your stepfather and mother supported you through all this?
Mr. FAY: Yes, they did, as well as my-
KING: What about the other boys?
Mr. FAY: The other- well, the other boys- Steven Freehill was the other American, and he got off with an $800 fine, because I would not answer any other questions for the police, because I knew he was innocent. I had seen him every weekend at the [unintelligible]. The Hong Kong boy, as you know, is in there for six- I think six months now.
KING: And he was caned, right?
Mr. FAY: Six canes- yes, he was-
KING: Do you know who vandalized the cars?
Mr. FAY: No, I don't, Larry.
KING: Don't know. Was it in the area where the signs were taken?
Mr. FAY: Actually, the signs were taken all over the place, so was the vandalism. I mean, they took us to the places. We did not take them to the places. They told us what color paint was put on them. We did not tell them what paint was put on them. And there were no symbols on the cars.
KING: Were you able to watch television?
Mr. FAY: In prison, no.
KING: Did- did you know that you were becoming a cause celebre around the world?
Mr. FAY: No, I didn't. I didn't.
KING: When did you first find that out?
Mr. FAY: I first found out when I was out on bail for $50,000, Singaporean dollars. And, I-
KING: Then you knew you-
Mr. FAY: I started noticing in the papers- it actually started in the Strait Times , which is a Singapore newspaper. And then it just got bigger and bigger.
KING: And then you were brought back into jail and no television after that?
Mr. FAY: No, I was- I was brought in- I was out on bail the whole time, and-
KING: Then brought in and caned?
Mr. FAY: I was brought into jail. And, in jail, I was not allowed to- in maximum security prison, we weren't allowed to watch TV, or anything.
Mr. SIMON: Larry, can I put this a little bit in context? I mean, it's been a long trip for Michael just to get here. And I'm sure, you know-
KING: I know. We had a Herculean day today with thundershowers.
Mr. SIMON: Right.
KING: Thank you for getting in.
Mr. SIMON: But I'll just be brief. I mean, from the outset, this case really demonstrates, throughout it, a gross, gross miscarriage of justice. Michael was ripped out of school, with no cause whatsoever. They then ransacked his parents' house, looking for spray cans, or whatever, found nothing. No search warrant, no cause. They then bring him into the police custody, they basically hold him incommunicado, except for a couple of short visits by his mom, for nine days. I think you may go back and ask him more about that interrogation. He'll tell you how he was physically abused, how he was forced to observe the physical abuse of others, that were very severely abused, how he was threatened.
KING: In other words, they tortured the confession out of him?
Mr. FAY: Yes, they did.
Mr. SIMON: And how he observed other people going into this aircon.
KING: Did you have a Singapore lawyer?
Mr. FAY: I did have a Singaporean lawyer.
KING: Did you tell him what they were doing to you?
Mr. FAY: I was not allowed to. At the time, I did not have him, I had a different lawyer. And-
KING: Did you tell that lawyer?
Mr. FAY: I was not allowed to. They would not let me, in the police station, tell them what-
KING: You couldn't talk to your lawyer?
Mr. FAY: No, they would always put a high officer in the room with me, so I couldn't speak.
KING: Why do you think, Michael- you lived there- you were there quite a bit.
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: Why do you think, over such an item as this, they were this, for want of a better term, ruthless?
Mr. FAY: I don't know. I've heard many rumors about it, especially my friends in Singapore. Maybe Singapore is trying to show that they're a big country, like the U.S. or Russia, or any other country of the world. But, I really don't have any idea why.
Mr. FAY: None.
KING: Did you- did you hear about it going on before you were arrested, when you were just-
Mr. FAY: No, I didn't. I did not.
KING: -living there? No one ever told stories about the Singapore police, or their methods of getting confessions, or things like this?
Mr. FAY: No, I didn't.
KING: Why do you think they did this?
Mr. SIMON: It's very hard to figure. We know the facts didn't justify it. When he was first arrested, the Straits Times classified the case as a criminal mischief, which is a non-canable offense. And, up until Michael's case, no one, whether Singaporean or foreign, had ever been prosecuted under this vandalism act which mandates caning, by the very statistics that the Singaporeans provided. So we know that they started one way and then changed. And then, it just continued and continued on a horrible path.
KING: You knew President Clinton got involved?
Mr. FAY: I- I heard from my mother and my stepfather, but I didn't know what he could do. But, I would like him to know that I am very grateful for what he has done for me.
KING: Do you think he helped get it reduced?
Mr. FAY: Yes, he did.
KING: Your stepfather and father get along? This is an harmonious family?
Mr. FAY: Yes, they do.
KING: So you could be in touch and there's no discord over the divorce?
Mr. FAY: Yes.
KING: When we come back, we'll talk about the caning, what Michael Fay will do now. We'll get his lawyer in, Ted Simon, to join in, with thoughts on why this can happen and how we can prevent it. Is there any worldwide body that could? And we'll be taking your calls. They're our guests for the full hour. This is Larry King Live. For the benefit of our radio listeners, our domestic numbers are (202) 408-1666. Back after this.
GEORGE FAY, Michael Fay's Father: He was incarcerated for eight days, and he was interrogated for eight days. And, when he came out of jail, the first thing he did was call me and said, 'I didn't do it.' And I asked him to write down everything that happened to him in jail, and he- according to Mike, he was coerced for four days. He was deprived of sleep, he was slapped, he was- he was punched, he was threatened with flogging.
KING: By Singapore police?
GEORGE FAY: By the police.
S.R. NATHAN, Singaporean Ambassador to the United States: Yeah, I think you should be very clear that this boy, who is an adult by your standards, is 18 years of age, was charged together- was arrested together with nine others last October. And, as a result of the investigations, he had 50 charges against him, 45 of which were for vandalism. And this vandalism involved criminal destruction, or damaging, of property, possessing stolen- stolen property, and also what you call acts of mischief. And, as a result of plea bargaining, he finally decided to plead guilty to two charges of vandalism, two charges of mischief, and one charge of possession of property, of stolen property. And, as a result of the plea bargaining, something like 16 of the vandalism charges, together with four of mischief, were taken into account in the sentencing, and 33 others were- were withdrawn.
KING: Were you watching that night, Michael?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I was Larry.
KING: I guess it was daytime in Singapore, right?
Mr. FAY: Yes, it was, about 9:00 A.M.
KING: What did you make of it, when you watched that?
Mr. FAY: Well, Nathan is over here, first of all, and I don't think he knew what was going on. I mean, he wasn't even in the government over there. I mean, he is in the government, but he was over here in the U.S. He didn't- he saw the same story that everybody in the U.S. saw.
KING: Were you angry when you saw him saying that?
Mr. FAY: I was a little upset. But, he was just only doing his job.
KING: So, you don't bear him any bitterness?
Mr. FAY: No. I don't believe in, you know, going after someone for, you know, hurting me.
KING: So you were able to say, 'This man is in a tough position. He's just doing his job?'
Mr. FAY: Yeah, he was. But I think he could have helped me a little bit, as well.
KING: You don't get many clients like this, Ted. Back to the evidence, what evidence did they produce that you vandalized the cars?
Mr. FAY: The only evidence we- he- they ever produced was a confession.
KING: They had no- they didn't present any evidence?
Mr. FAY: They had no other evidence.
KING: Except this one boy, who they first arrested, who identified you as one of the people, right?
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: So they had one 'witness?'
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: You were never able to confront him?
Mr. FAY: I was never, ever able to confront him.
KING: Did he appear in court?
Mr. FAY: He did appear in court. And now, as you know, he's in jail.
KING: When they tortured-
Mr. SIMON: He appeared in court for his own case.
KING: Right, but not against him. There was no cross-examination of him by the part of your lawyer?
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: OK. When they tortured you, what kind of torture to get this confession? Because Americans, once they hear confession, you know, they say, 'He did it.'
Mr. FAY: Well, first of all, an officer came up to me, ripped me out of the chair by my hair. Pulled me, actually, out of my chair. He slapped me a few times. Then, later on, the same officer came to me, hit me on the back, as I was walking down a hallway to talk to him inside of a room. He hit me on the head with his knuckle very hard. Then we walked back. He hit me on the back again and hit me with his knuckle. It was torture.
Mr. SIMON: What things was he saying to you? And, what did you observe as-
Mr. FAY: They said- they said everything, you know, from, 'White trash' to something like I hate Singapore, and everything, and that's why I did it. But I didn't do it.
KING: Any anti-American statements?
Mr. FAY: I- I received a- a few, you know. They said, like, 'You're from America, that's why you did this.' You know, 'Your crime level is so- so- so high. You're just doing this to show-'
KING: By the way, had you ever had any juvenile delinquency problems in-
Mr. FAY: No, I haven't.
KING: Never been arrested or anything?
Mr. FAY: Never.
KING: OK. When you confessed, did they make you sign it?
Mr. FAY: Yes, they did.
KING: How was- how did it feel to sign something you knew you didn't do?
Mr. FAY: I couldn't believe it. I said-
KING: You couldn't believe you were signing it?
Mr. FAY: I couldn't even believe I was signing it. But, if I wouldn't have signed it, they would have just started the torture again.
KING: Did you tell this- were your stepfather and mother allowed to visit you?
Mr. FAY: They were allowed to visit me. But I was not allowed- the first few days, I was not even allowed to tell them why I was arrested.
KING: Now, when they do the caning, how do they do that? What do they do? You don't know the date it's going to happen or the time it's going to happen, so you're, what, sitting in a cell?
Mr. FAY: I was sitting in a cell. And, that day, like I said, was- my Singaporean lawyer came and told me about the clemency, which was May 5th, 1994.
KING: Clemency being?
Mr. FAY: Being reduced from six strokes-
KING: To four.
Mr. FAY: -to four strokes. And then-
KING: And no other jail time, right?
Mr. FAY: No.
Mr. FAY: I didn't receive any, you know, cut of jail time.
KING: OK, so just- the clemency was two strokes less.
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: How do they do that? What do they do? They come- what happens?
Mr. FAY: Well, what they did with me is, they came in and handcuffed me and would not tell me where I was going. And I had no idea where I was going.
KING: Did you have an idea?
Mr. FAY: I had a small idea. I didn't- but I was trying not to think about it.
KING: What time of day?
Mr. FAY: It was about 2:30 P.M. And so, they brought me up to the yard and they said, 'Take off all your clothes.'
KING: The yard is a-
Mr. FAY: The yard is just like a yard that I would be, where you exercise, except that-
KING: Open air.
Mr. FAY: There's a trestle there. No, there was- actually, half of it was covered, where the trestle was, because it was raining that day.
KING: Raining. Anybody else around?
Mr. FAY: There was a lot of high officers around.
KING: So what do they do? They make you take off your clothes?
Mr. FAY: Right. They-
KING: Do they take them off or you take-
Mr. FAY: No, they tell me to take off my clothes, and they put a rubber mat that covered my whole back. And that was all that was on me. And it was- it's just to protect you from not getting hit on the back.
KING: Did you know this was happening?
Mr. SIMON: No. There was no notice to counsel or the family.
KING: All right. That's so they don't hit you on the back by mistake. They want to hit you on the buttocks, right?
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: And how do they- are you handcuffed during it?
Mr. FAY: No, it's different from handcuff, because they put me on a trestle and bend me halfway-
KING: Describe the trestle.
Mr. FAY: The trestle, there was buckles on- for the feet, and there was buckles for the arms.
KING: Are you, like, prone?
Mr. FAY: Can I- can I-
KING: Yeah, please.
Mr. FAY: I was bent over halfway. I mean, my back was bent, in a 90-degree. And I was buckled like this, so I couldn't get out of the buckle with my- my hands and my feet.
KING: Like a kid being spanked?
Mr. FAY: Exactly.
Mr. FAY: But much worse.
KING: Then what did they do? So you can't move your hands?
Mr. FAY: Right. You cannot move your hands or your feet. So you're stuck there. So, then the flogger-
KING: You know what's coming now?
Mr. FAY: Yes. The flogger tested the cane a few times, to make sure. He would whip it. Yeah, whip it in the air.
KING: Did he talk to you, the flogger?
Mr. FAY: No, he did not say one word to me the whole time.
KING: Was he in uniform?
Mr. FAY: He was actually in a T-shirt that said something like 'Police Commandos.' And he was wearing, like, army pants.
KING: Didn't talk to you?
Mr. FAY: No, he didn't. Not one word. And so, he- he started- they yell out, 'Count one.' And he comes out and- [unintelligible]- three steps, and on the third step- and he's whipping, as he's going, on each step. And-
KING: Can you hear the whip?
Mr. FAY: Yes, you- yes, I can. And on the third- third step, he strikes. And he cuts open your buttocks.
KING: And there's a lot of pain?
Mr. FAY: There's a lot of pain.
KING: Did you scream?
Mr. FAY: No, I did not. One of the officers said that I said- I yelled out, 'I'm dying.' But I don't remember that at all.
KING: Did you faint?
Mr. FAY: No, I did not.
KING: We'll be right back with more Michael Fay and Ted Simon. We'll be including your phone calls. Don't go away.
Pres. BILL CLINTON: We have generally quite good relations with Singapore. They have a different culture, a different view, a different set of laws. As you know, I have not objected to the young man's being punished. I have not even objected to the young man's being incarcerated. I have objected to this caning. I think many Americans who have expressed sympathy with it do not understand exactly what it involves, how it is going to be administered, and that he is going to bleed considerably and may have permanent scars. And I think it is a mistake.
KING: What's on the end of the cane?
Mr. FAY: I'm not really sure, but one of my friends told me that there's a little ball on the end of the cane.
Mr. FAY: It might not be, though. I don't know.
KING: How quickly did they hit you with the second shot?
Mr. FAY: About 15-second intervals. And, between the third and fourth was five seconds.
KING: Five seconds?
Mr. FAY: Yes.
KING: If you fainted, is it true that they would revive you and then cane you again, or cane you- they wouldn't cane you while you were unconscious?
Mr. FAY: That is what some people looked into. But, what I heard was, if you faint, they won't revive you. But they might have just been telling me that.
KING: Well, did you see the guy's eyes, who hit you?
Mr. FAY: No, I didn't.
KING: Did he have- so you had no idea if he had any remorse over doing this or treats it like a job?
Mr. FAY: I saw his eyes, but he didn't, you know, show anything.
KING: No feeling at all?
Mr. FAY: No. He just was normal.
KING: What did they do with you immediately upon completion of the caning?
Mr. FAY: They took me downstairs immediately into the cell. The doctor did not check me through the whole caning.
KING: Didn't check you?
Mr. FAY: No, he did not.
KING: Were you able to walk?
Mr. FAY: I was able to walk, but there was a lot of pain in my lower body.
KING: A lot of bleeding?
Mr. FAY: Yes. Well, I would not say a few drops, and I would not say it was gushing out of my buttocks. But there was blood.
KING: Yeah. And a lot of pain.
Mr. FAY: Yes, there was.
KING: Did they give you a pain killer?
Mr. FAY: Not- that night, they gave me 40 milligrams of Valium, instead of 20 grams.
KING: Normally, you would get 20, right?
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: Were they kind after it? Was anybody kind?
Mr. FAY: They- they- they were kind, you know, through the whole thing. I mean, through the whole sentence, because I- I feel, and they even said, some of them, they were afraid that anything else would happen to me.
Mr. FAY: Pressure from the U.S.
KING: And something might happen to you while being caned.
Mr. FAY: Right.
KING: Was- was- caning was terrible physically.
Mr. FAY: Yes, it is.
KING: But I gather the interrogation was as bad.
Mr. FAY: That was the worst.
Mr. FAY: That was the worst.
KING: I mean, the way they forced a confession out of you.
Mr. FAY: No, I witnessed another American being beaten, spit on, punched, kicked, hit with road signs.
KING: Young boy?
Mr. FAY: He was younger than me.
KING: Charged with what you were being charged with?
Mr. FAY: He was never charged.
KING: Never charged?
Mr. FAY: Never charged.
KING: You saw them beat him up?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I did. I was in the same room.
KING: Why didn't you tell your attorney that the confession was coerced? This is Singaporean authorities saying you never did this.
Mr. FAY: Because I had already been charged, and I was very scared that they would put more on me if-
KING: So you were afraid to tell your own attorney?
Mr. FAY: Yes.
Mr. SIMON: But you know, Larry, Michael made a very full statement, on October 20th, five days after he was released, which fully documented this in much greater detail than even that which he's saying now. So, you know, this is not something that's new.
KING: Did you shake hands with the person who flogged you?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I did.
Mr. FAY: The reason- the reason why I shook hands with him was because I keep my pride inside me. The second thing is, he was only doing that because he works for the government. I mean, it's not like volunteer that they flog people.
KING: You're not mad at him?
Mr. FAY: No, he's only doing his job.
KING: Did you ever file a formal appeal?
Mr. FAY: Yeah. I went to the high court, but they just dismissed it.
KING: We're going to take a break and come right back, and we'll include your phone calls for Michael Fay and his attorney, Ted Simon. This is Larry King Live. Tomorrow night, Alan Dershowitz, his first appearance since becoming a part of the O.J. Simpson team, and one of the great, great all-time athletes Friday night, Ernie Banks, who, by the way, is a cousin of O.J. Simpson. Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, will be with us. Back with your calls for Michael Fay and Ted Simon, after this.
BOBBIE BATTISTA: Perhaps in an effort to further understand that, there is a history of caning in Singapore, as a traditional form of punishment.
Mr. YEO, Singaporean Information Minister: Well, it goes back as long as I can remember, to British colonial days. We kept it because it's an effective deterrent. I still remember, when I was a young child, my mother telling me that the gangster, and the Chinese gangsters, can be quite vicious, that they are afraid of the cane. They are not afraid of the prison sentence. It has been an effective deterrent. It keeps the place safe. I can go back from work in the evening, jog alone, and I see single women jogging alone. And people don't expect to be attacked or molested. I'm not saying we're crime-free, but, by and large, it's a safe society.
RANDY CHAN, Michael Fay's Mother: I don't understand how anyone can condone this type of punishment for this type of crime. He's an 18-year-old. He has been living with this since last October 7th. He has missed his whole year senior- his senior year in high school. If a point was to have been made about this, it has been made. He's in prison now. How this entire thing is going to affect him physically, much less emotionally, I have no idea.
KING: That Michael's mother. We're back with Michael Fay and his attorney, Ted Simon. We're going to go to your phone calls. A couple other quick things, Mike. Can you describe what these scars look like? What does it leave permanently on you? Will it be permanent, by the way?
Mr. FAY: It's really tough for me to describe it.
KING: Are they like lashes?
Mr. FAY: They're worse than lashes.
KING: What does your doctor say here?
Mr. FAY: I haven't checked with the doctor yet. I don't want to.
Mr. FAY: I just want my family to see the scars.
KING: Have they seen them?
Mr. FAY: Only my father has seen them. And-
KING: Can you tell me what he said?
Mr. FAY: He was pretty upset. We had- we cried. It's going to be a long time.
KING: Do we know if they'll be permanent?
Mr. FAY: I don't know yet.
KING: Nashville, Tennessee for Michael Fay and Ted Simon, on Larry King Live. Hello.
KING: Well, but, how about the Americans who said, 'This is the law. You were convicted. You confessed. That's what they do. Take your medicine. That's it.' Were you surprised that many Americans said that?
Mr. FAY: No, I wasn't.
KING: You weren't?
Mr. FAY: I just believe that that's their opinion. And, you know, if they don't want to believe that I'm innocent, that's their opinion.
Mr. SIMON: But you know, Larry, even to this day, the Americans do not know that the Singaporeans applied the law very unfairly. They had never before caned anyone, Singaporean or Western, for behavior involving private property or automobiles. Prior to that, they used exclusively this criminal mischief, which is a non-canable offense. So, when they were going out and basically pandering to the American public's fear about crime, when they would talk about, 'We've caned other people for vandalism-' but they never caned anyone for this type of behavior.
KING: But weren't you a little shocked when you would hear that there were- something like 40 percent favored what they did?
Mr. FAY: I was shocked, but then I told myself, 'Look, Mike, that's just their opinion.' I have to deal with that.
Mr. SIMON: And when I say this behavior, I mean the alleged behavior, because, you know, Michael didn't do this.
KING: Your client doesn't have a lot of anger. Are you a little amazed at this?
Mr. SIMON: Look, when I sat with Michael at great length and heard the story from cover to cover, I can tell you, when he told me that he shook the hand of the caner, and I asked him why, and he said, 'They couldn't take my pride,' I had goosebumps throughout my body. I mean, he's a remarkable, remarkable young man.
KING: Atlanta, Georgia. Hello.
Mr. FAY: Yeah.
KING: -and then determine whether it's wrong.
Mr. FAY: First of all, if I get any contract, I'm not going to accept the money. I- I want to make it- clear my name and to prove my innocence. I do not believe this is a story where money should be an involvement.
Mr. SIMON: Larry, if he wanted to profit from this, he could have sold the rights to the first interview, and he has rejected that.
KING: What- what would you- in other words, he could have gone to a tabloid show tonight, or yesterday, and been paid money? We don't give money here.
Mr. SIMON: There were offers and he rejected them. He preferred to come on your show and tell the world the truth. And that's it.
KING: How about a made-for-TV movie and the like?
Mr. FAY: I wish to make a TV, you know, movie. But, like I said, I'm not in it for the money. I just want to clear my name, prove my innocence. I want to go on with my life.
KING: If you got paid for a TV movie, though, you wouldn't turn it down?
Mr. FAY: Of course not. But I wouldn't- I would not- I would not take the money. I would give it to my family, who has paid for all the legal action that has gone on.
KING: How do you react to those in Singapore, who were saying that's why you were doing this, to make money?
Mr. FAY: They're just going against me. You know, the government is saying that, so we have to face it.
Mr. SIMON: The facts belie it. He could have and didn't.
KING: Well, obviously. You could have gone- Singapore. Hello.
Mr. FAY: I just don't believe that's the way to get back, revenge.
KING: Even though they coerced it out of you?
Mr. FAY: Right.
Mr. SIMON: Well, he experienced their system of injustice. And, after going through that, do you think there's any chance, any viable chance, of doing anything in Singapore?
KING: Is there any international court- is there still something in The Hague?
Mr. SIMON: Well, Singapore is not- is not part of any regional human rights court. So, that's not a way-
KING: So there is no way you could bring international charges against Singapore that would be judged in a tribunal?
Mr. SIMON: I think the best way to bring this is to have Michael tell his story as clearly and as accurately as possible, and let Americans and other individuals around the world take appropriate action on their own part, whether it's economic or political. Perhaps at some point there may be legal action, when Michael further digests all the possibilities.
KING: You have friends there now, don't you, Michael?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I do, Larry.
KING: Keep in touch with them?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I do.
KING: Singapore is bidding- they're going to host the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting next- next year. Do you think the government should protest that, our government? Do you think we should not- we should say they shouldn't hold it there?
Mr. FAY: Well, Larry, I don't have much- I don't know much about the U.S. government, except that it's a fair government. Now, if they want to do it, I think they should do it. But if they don't want to do it, because of what has happened, then let them, you know, say no.
KING: Why are you so easygoing? Have you always been like this?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I have. I don't like, you know, revenge. I just want to go on with my life.
KING: What do you want to do, Michael?
Mr. FAY: Well, I don't know. I'm not sure what I want to do. But I'm interested in the environment, human rights. And I love to write. So, I'm not really sure what I want to do yet. I have time.
KING: We'll be back with more of Michael Fay and Ted Simon, and more of your phone calls, on Larry King Live. Don't go away.
SINGAPOREAN: Well, we Singaporeans know the kind of society that we want, and you can see for yourself. We do not preach our laws, though others who may hold different views how to control crime. But we do expect foreigners living in Singapore to abide by our laws. Similarly, we expect Singaporeans who visit other places to abide by the law in those places, including the United States. These, by and large, I think they have done.
GEORGE FAY: Mike is not bitter, which surprised me very much, because I think I am more bitter than he is at this time. And that's something that I have to deal with. I met these kids. I met their parents. Not all of them, obviously, but I met two of the kids, as well, that were implicated, and many others that were just friends. Unless I'm a real lousy judge of character, these kids are- are- are normal, average teenagers, with good sense of humors, care for each other very deeply. And, everybody knows that- that what has happened in Singapore, to Mike and the other kids, was basically very unfair. And they believe in Mike's innocence, as well.
KING: We're back with Michael Fay and Ted Simon. That was Michael's dad. And we go to Tokyo, Japan. Hello.
Mr. SIMON: Well, this caller may not know, very recently, within the last few weeks, a Japanese tourist was in a hotel in Singapore and was murdered. That's, you know, not well-publicized. You don't- the Singaporeans are not interested in publicizing crime.
KING: They're not crime-free?
Mr. SIMON: Of course not.
Mr. FAY: I have something to add to that, too. In Singapore right now, I'd just like you- everybody to know out there, there is another vandalism case going on. And this time, they're using acid on the cars to eat away the paint.
Mr. SIMON: You know what's remarkable, while-
KING: They're using acid on the-
Mr. FAY: They're using acid on the cars, and it's eating away the paint. Now, you know, crime is still going on in Singapore.
Mr. SIMON: While Michael was in jail, there was a slew of vandalism. Obviously, who was ever doing- you know, whoever- we don't know who is doing that. We don't know if they're responsible for the behavior that Michael was charged with. But, where in the world would anyone not want to commit vandalism? You'd think Singapore, but it's going on.
KING: What's a punishment you would favor for someone guilty of vandalism?
Mr. FAY: I feel the first time they should pay for it. Not just pay for it, but maybe some community service, like they do in the States. Now, the second time, they- they're, you know, arrested for it, I think they should go to jail for a while. It teaches you.
KING: But no physical abuse?
Mr. FAY: It's barbaric.
KING: To Singapore, hello.
KING: What did you think of the media coverage?
Mr. FAY: At first, I- I'm very grateful for what they have tried to do for me. But now, I just want to get on with my life. I don't want too much to deal with it.
KING: We'll be back with more, after this. Don't go away.
S. JAYAKUMAR, Law & Foreign Affairs Minister: The American media displayed unprecedented naïveté in believing that an historical campaign could cause Singapore to cave in to such pressure and exempt him from caning. They failed to see that no Singapore government can govern effectively if its citizens see the government as having succumbed to U.S. media pressure.
2nd AMERICAN: Well, if he broke that law of that country, he has to suffer the consequences
3rd AMERICAN: Well, he deserved it, because he should observe the laws in the country that he's in.
4th AMERICAN: My thoughts are, he was a kid. He didn't deserve it. It was graffiti. Come on.
Mr. FAY: Nothing.
KING: But, did they write out a confession for you, or did they-
Mr. FAY: They- they- they- they- they just took me to the places, said-
KING: And then you had to say, 'I did it?'
Mr. FAY: They even pointed out the car for me.
KING: You wouldn't have recognized the car.
Mr. FAY: I just said, 'Yes, no.'
KING: Greenwich, Connecticut. Hello.
Mr. FAY: Yes, I do. I want to join up with Amnesty International this year or next year. And I want to start cracking at it, you know, helping them out as much as I can.
KING: I think they would take you in a-
Mr. SIMON: He's also expressed interest in speaking with them, as well, and speaking possibly to the Senate and Congress about what happened.
Mr. FAY: I would like to hold meetings and, you know, be the speaker-
KING: Is it true that you read Schindler's List while in prison?
Mr. FAY: I read it. And-
KING: What did you think?
Mr. FAY: It's a very powerful book.
KING: Do you relate to it?
Mr. FAY: I do relate to it. On my father's side of his family-
KING: I know.
Mr. FAY: -his mother was in Auschwitz for a year. So was his father's first wife and son. They both died in Auschwitz.
KING: Laguna Niguel, California. Hello.
Mr. FAY: No, I wouldn't. I would not support that, because I have- I have experienced caning. Paddling is the same thing, almost. I don't- I don't know what they want to- you know, how bad they want to paddle someone.
Mr. SIMON: And the law is pretty clear, in the United States, that it's unconstitutional to corporally- corporally punish someone for a conviction of a crime.
KING: Cruel and unusual punishment.
Mr. SIMON: And degrading.
KING: Somebody thought about that a long time ago. Back with our remaining moments with Michael Fay and Ted Simon, on Larry King Live, after this.
KING: Ted, among the international cases you've been involved with, where does this rank?
Mr. SIMON: Well, I'd say, in my 20 years of practice and of representing people accused of crime, and maybe 15 or more representing Americans around the world, it's one of the most gross- the grossest miscarriages of justice, when you combine the process that gave rise to the conviction, and ultimately the punishment, which really is a euphemism. It is torture.
KING: Michael, we have a little less than a minute. Anything you'd like to say to the folks, you could look right in that camera and say it.
Mr. FAY: Yes, Larry. I would just like to first thank my whole family for helping me through all this. Also, President of the United States, the Press, and also, everyone out there that has been on my side, in my corner, through the whole thing.
KING: How are you feeling now? Relieved?
Mr. FAY: Pretty good. But, something has to be done with their government.
KING: Going to take a vacation?
Mr. FAY: I hope to. But, first is my education.
KING: So, you're going to be low-key now?
Mr. FAY: Yes, I will be.
KING: You will not be soon forgotten.
Mr. FAY: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Thank you, Ted.
Mr. SIMON: Thank you.
KING: Thanks for all your help. Michael Fay and Ted Simon. And that's tonight's edition of Larry King Live. Tomorrow night, Alan Dershowitz. He has been added to the defense team for O.J. Simpson. His first appearance discussing that matter will be on this program. And Friday night, a first appearance for a cousin of O.J. Simpson, one of the great baseball players ever, Ernie Banks.
Linden Soles and Susan Rook will co-anchor the World News out of Atlanta. Linden, what's up?
Copyright 1994 Cable News Network, Inc.
The preceding text has been professionally transcribed. However, although the text has been checked against an audio track, in order to meet rigid distribution and transmission deadlines, it has not yet been proofread against videotape.
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