Courts Investigating Euthanasia Web Site Owner

A court investigation into Roger William Graham, the owner of the Blue Mountain Cafe in Kampot prov­ince, will begin Monday, provincial court Chief Prosecutor Uk Kim­sith said Sunday, adding that Graham could be summoned to the court for questioning.

Uk Kimsith also confirmed that def­amation and false information law­suits had been filed against Gra­ham on Friday at the behest of prov­incial Governor Puth Chan­da­rith.

In Chiva, Kampot province de­puty police chief, said on Sunday he would wait to hear from the court be­fore taking any action and confirmed that Graham had taken down his Web sites, www.euthana­si­aincam­bo­­dia.com and www.asian-hearts­.com, which had encouraged for­eign­ers to end their lives in Cam­bo­dia.

“I’ve taken down the Web site to make everyone more comfortable,” said Graham by telephone Sunday. “If that’s the main issue…it’s re­solv­ed,” he said.

“You’re going to die anyway, so why not in Cambodia,” the banner of www.euthanasiaincambodia.com read Sunday even though the text of the site had been removed.

“I retain the right to respond as ne­cessary,” Graham said, when ask­ed what he thought of the court char­ges. Although he declined to specify what the response might be, he mentioned the possibility of put­ting his Web site up again.

In a letter marked “release” and sent to reporters Saturday, Graham de­­fended his right to “choose the time, place, and manner of my own death,” and argued that his Web site had sought to “empower people with freedom of choice.”

Graham reiterated previous statements that a pro-euthanasia policy could only help boost tourism in Cam­bodia.

“Euthanasia can only help promote Cambodia as a place where all are welcome to visit, to spend time and money,” he wrote. “To say [those who wish to die in Cam­bo­dia] are not welcome is to say to all that they may not be welcome.”

Graham said that he moved to Southeast Asia following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

 

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