Fundraiser launched for wrongfully imprisoned Scott Watson
Group "Free Scott Watson - HE IS INNOCENT" has launched a fundraiser to support Scott Watson, who was wrongfully convicted for Ben Smart and Olivia Hope's murders. He remains in prison, despite serious concerns about the validity of his convictions.
Advocacy group "Free Scott Watson - HE IS INNOCENT" has launched a fundraising campaign to support Scott Watson and his family in their ongoing legal battle https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/scottfree/ So far, over $2000 has been raised.
On New Year's Day 1998, Ben Smart and Olivia Hope disappeared from a party at Furneaux Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds. Over the ensuing months, Police focused their enquiries on Watson. In 1999, he was found guilty of the young pair's murders, and remains imprisoned.
Watson recently spoke out for the first time in an interview with North & South writer Mike White. Watson maintains his innocence, saying, "I don't know where Ben and Olivia are. I've never seen them. They never came on my boat and I definitely didn't murder them."
Many New Zealanders are concerned about Watson's ongoing imprisonment. High profile journalists, including David Fisher, Mike White, Keith Hunter and Ian Wishart, have raised serious doubts about the validity of Watson's convictions.
Members of Free Scott Watson - HE IS INNOCENT hope that the funds raised will be useful for Watson and his family as he takes his next legal step, which will likely be another appeal to the Governor General for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.