Daily Telegraph: $45,000 bail for jailed ABC reporter (Jul 21)

Monday, July 21, 2008

$45,000 bail for jailed ABC reporter
By Marcus Casey and Steve Gee
July 21, 2008 08:55am

THE family of jailed ABC journalist Peter Lloyd were last night trying to raise $45,000 bail to free him from Singapore's Changi prison, where he is on remand facing drug charges.

ABC management also threw more resources towards Lloyd's plight with news chief John Cameron yesterday preparing to fly to Singapore to speak with the foreign correspondent in person.

Mr Cameron will join the ABC's head of legal services Rob Simpson, sent to Singapore on Saturday to co-ordinate the 41-year-old's legal defence.

Prominent local lawyer Sashi Nathan has already been hired to represent Lloyd, arrested last week on charges of trafficking and possessing almost 1g of the methamphetamine ice.

Lloyd was moved to the notorious Changi prison yesterday, and faces five to 15 strokes of the cane plus five to 20 years jail if found guilty.

The ABC would not comment on the taxpayer-funded body spending money in helping Lloyd, who was on leave at the time of the alleged offence.

But it is understood there are no official ABC guidelines to deal with such a case, and that management was acting out of an urgent "duty of care" for its employee.

The ABC is expected to review the matter later.

Australians charged overseas are visited by the local consulate or high commission, but funding for legal help is not automatic.

Lloyd, on holidays in Singapore for treatment for an infected eye, was charged after a 31-year-old Singaporean man was found in possession of the drug.

Lloyd last night spent his first evening in custody inside Singapore's notorious Changi prison while awaiting any bail application - which must be posted by a local.

Mr Nathan could not be contacted yesterday.

Lloyd's estranged wife, UNICEF Indonesia spokeswoman Kirstyn McIvor again declined to comment. A friend said the pair had marital difficulties stretching back 18 months. Their partnership ended when he came out as gay.

Lloyd's case is due to return to court for mention on Friday.