defamation

Creative Colin exposed in Mr X fiasco

As I wrote earlier, yesterday in court was excruciating.

Yvonne Tahana from TVNZ gets right to the bottom of the Mr X fiasco.

Mr McKnight was blunt to Mr Craig about the pamphlet which took a question and answer form with himself: “This is you just making something up?”

“I’ve based it on conversations and thoughts of other people,” Craig answered.

Mr McKnight is working systematically through major sentences in the pamphlet.

He asked Craig to read where Mr X denies any sexual harassment against Craig’s former press secretary Rachel MacGregor and a “second victim”.

The line was “I don’t see why that matters … just that it gets reported [laughs].”   Read more »

From despicable, to evil genius, to master of political games…all in a day

Yesterday I was described as despicable by ratbags in Marlborough who have come under some much-needed scrutiny.

And Colin Craig called me an evil genius and a master of political games under cross-examination.

The cross-examination of Craig was awful in its entirety as his words were picked over bit by bit. From the love letters to the booklet, every phrase was read out by Craig and he was asked what he meant by the sentence.

No journalist managed to capture the sheer embarrassment of it all. You had to be there.

Adam Hollingworth has some of it.

Jordan Williams’ lawyer has gone on the attack in cross-examining Colin Craig, at the defamation trial against the former Conservative Party leader.

Peter McKnight questioned Mr Craig in depth on Monday morning about his decision to use the literary device ‘Mr X’ in pamphlets he sent to hundreds of thousands of households last year.

Mr Williams took the defamation case against Mr Craig after the latter called him a liar for spreading “false allegations” about him to other members of the Conservative Party, particularly regarding his behaviour around former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

On Monday, Mr Craig told the jury ‘Mr X’was a nom de plume in his Dirty Politics leaflet at the centre of the defamation trial.

But Mr McKnight suggested that was dishonest.   Read more »

Do you know what dodgy means?

Rachel MacGregor was devastating in court yesterday and is still under cross-examination today.

Her evidence was damning and we have now found out that despite Colin Craig’s repeated denials of anything untoward and then his back pedal to suggest that it was only inappropriate, that Rachel MacGregor alleged he had actually sexually harassed her repeatedly over a long period of time.

Colin Craig’s former press secretary Rachel MacGregor has labelled the former Conservative Party leader a “dodgy” liar who lacked integrity.

She says she resigned from her job because Craig allegedly sexually harassed her and “repeatedly refused” to discuss her pay rate.

MacGregor was speaking in the High Court at Auckland on Tuesday, where she is the final witness to give evidence in the defamation case Taxpayers Union founder Jordan Williams has taken against Craig.

MacGregor was being cross-examined by Craig’s lawyer Stephen Mills QC, who asked her if she was surprised that Williams felt Craig wasn’t fit to be a leader of the party.

“(Craig) was dodgy.”

Asked what she meant by that, she continued: “Well, I mean, dodgy to be fair. He was sexually harassing me. Do you want me to use another word other than dodgy? Do you know what dodgy means?”

Her evidence prompted laughs from people sitting in the public gallery.

Read more »

Williams v. Craig – Week 1 summary

I have spent the week in court observing, as media, the Williams v. Craig defamation trial.

You have all seen the other media coverage But I thought I would give my observations in a quick reference format of what has been revealed this week. Nothing is suppressed so far, so it is safe to publish these details.

Only two witnesses have given evidence so far. The evidence in chief of Jordan Williams and evidence from Christine Rankin. Jordan Williams was cross-examined for more than the time he gave evidence.

What we have found out:

  • Colin Craig told the board that there were no allegations of sexual harassment, and it was an employment dispute only.
  • Colin Craig repeatedly told the media that there was no inappropriate conduct. He stated numerous times on camera and in radio interviews that any allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” were “scurrilous baseless and just wrong and retractions would be demanded”.
  • Craig’s defence is now claiming there was a relationship and it was consensual.
  • Colin Craig repeatedly told the board that there was no inappropriate conduct.
  • Colin Craig has asserted in sworn affidavits in other proceedings that he is not a Christian.
  • A video of the sauna interview and another news clip shows Mr. Craig clearly claiming he is a Christian.
  • Colin Craig has asserted in sworn affidavits in other proceedings that the Conservative party did not stand on moral values.
  • Christine Rankin informed the court of regular Thursday morning prayer sessions, the fact that Colin Craig often took days off to read the bible, and that he used to fill his press releases with bible quotes that were removed by Ms MacGregor or Christine Rankin herself.   Read more »

Colin Craig, and the object lesson of why your enemy’s enemy isn’t always your friend

martin martyn bomber bradbury

When Colin Craig published his “Dirty Politics” booklet and then slapped a defamation suit on Cameron Slater, the Slater haters were all cock-a-hoop at the possibilities offered by Mr Craig.

Finally, someone with both the funds and the intent to take that Slater guy down.  Amusingly, even though Colin Craig was the leader of a right-wing party, the hard left flocked to him to support his fight against Cam.

Readers won’t be surprised that Martin Martyn Bradbury has met with Colin Craig to give Craig advice on evidence and strategy.  After all, the world knows that everything that Martin Bradbury touches turns to gold.

Other Slater haters, such as Lyn Prentice and Pete George sided with Colin Craig as the “hard done by” party, and in their enthusiasm managed to allegedly breach court ordered suppression a number of times.   No doubt it was all worth it, because whatever it takes to finally get rid of Cameron Slater is time and money well spent.

Ben Rachinger had similar support, for similar reasoning: that to help anyone that can potentially damage Slater is a “good thing”, and it doesn’t matter what other faults that person may present. Read more »

Irony: Colin Craig in court today defending defamation

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is back in court, defending defamation action being taken against him.

Mr Craig is being sued by Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams, who says Mr Craig made false allegations about him in a leaflet and at a press conference in July last year.

A jury of seven men and five women has been selected for the trial before Justice Katz in the High Court at Auckland.

The trial could take up to five weeks.

Lawyers indicated a total of 27 witnesses were expected to give evidence, including Mr Williams and Mr Craig.

Slapping defamation suits on people has been somewhat of a go-to strategy for Colin Craig.  Over the years it has been clear Mr Craig doesn’t actually mean to end up in court, rather counting on the silencing effect instead.  It’s a good way to shut people up in a contest where the person with the most money has an upper hand.

He should have stuck to that strategy and not published his own Dirty Politics booklet that he had delivered to almost every household in New Zealand, and then followed it with a most remarkable press conference.  The content of both were demonstrably inaccurate, and as a result Mr Craig faced legal action from Jordan Williams, John Stringer and Cameron Slater, the three main protagonists facing Craig’s attempt to silence his critics.

As a result, Craig suddenly faced three defamation suits himself.  Read more »

Something fun to go to for the next four weeks

Colin Craig is in court against Jordan Williams in the first of a long line of defamation cases. My turn will be next year when Mr. Craig will get to face up to Brian Henry who is running my case.

Jordan Williams has finally managed to haul Craig into court and his case starts on Monday.

Meanwhile, down the hall from courtroom 13 and the Dotcom trial there will be a different sort of celebrity – kind of Spiderman to Marvel’s Kingpin – with the commencement of the Colin Craig defamation trial. The case, brought by Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers Union, is set down for an indeterminate time but could potentially run for much of the length of Dotcom’s marathon.

The case, you will recall, involved various claims made by former Conservative Party leader alleging various claims against Mr Williams and others. Mr Williams launched his action (Peter McKnight acting) against Mr Craig (Stephen Mills QC and John McKay acting) after comments made at a media conference and via a “leaflet” distributed to over 1.6 million letterboxes.  The remarks and “leaflet” made, in part, allegations involving alleged sexual harassment by Mr Craig of his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.   Read more »

Suing bloggers for defamation is now a thing

What did Little expect when he accused a forensic accountant of lying?

Andrew Little should apologise to tax expert John Shewan for treating him with utter contempt and total disrespect.

Mr Little has been caught out big time — and it serves him right.

Mr Little got things wrong about Mr Shewan and has to put them right.

So Mr Little issued a retraction — at 5:17pm on Saturday, June 20 — two hours and 18 minutes before kick-off of the Wellington Test.

This is so cynical it is sad. Everybody knows that is the absolutely dead time in a media cycle when it would get the least attention. It is cunning and awful and rude and Mr Little’s actions show why people distrust politicians.

Now things have bounced back on Mr Little and his own credibility is being called into question — and it serves him right.

A lot of this is arcane and complex but it is important because Mr Little is auditioning to be Prime Minister. His actions and his words are important.

Mr Little yesterday repeatedly said that Mr Shewan did not ask him for an apology about incorrect statements made about him.

So then Mr Shewan pulled out a letter to Mr Little that said: “I now request the statement I sent to you yesterday be issued with the following additions: ‘I apologise to Mr Shewan for any embarrassment I have caused him through my statements’.”

Sadly for Mr Little, it doesn’t get much clearer than that. Contrary to his public claims, Mr Shewan asked for an apology.

It seems Little lies a little too easily and, more surprisingly, he does so when the potential damage far outweighs the benefits.

It is clear that Andrew Little is easily manipulated into taking a position that he will then blindly defend.   Not a “take a backward step” kind of man. That’s a useful trait for a union boss. It is quite a liability for a politician. Read more »

Lying Little busted by John Shewan

Andrew-Little-goober1

So, it seems Andrew Little simply can’t tell the truth.

In the dead of the night a couple of hours before an All Black test he issued a retraction but not an apology to John Shewan for smearing him.

When pressed on that issue yesterday he said he wasn’t asked for an apology by John Shewan.

That was a lie.

John Shewan quickly busted that by releasing the letter to Andrew Little that specifically requests an apology.

Tax expert John Shewan says that claims by Andrew Little that he did not seek an apology from the Labour leader are misleading.

The statement that I never asked for an apology is completely incorrect,” Mr Shewan told the Herald today.

Mr Little told reporters this morning that he did not apologise to Mr Shewan, a former PwC chairman, over incorrect statements he made about his background in April because he was never asked to.

“I wasn’t asked to provide an apology. I was asked to provide his assurance that the media report I relied on was wrong.”

He added: “[Mr Shewan] explicitly said ‘I don’t need you to apologise, I want a correction of a statement’, and that’s what I’ve done.”

When asked again to confirm that Mr Shewan had not asked for an apology, Mr Little said: “That’s my recollection of the first face-to-face discussion that we had.”

Following the release of the Panama Papers in April, Mr Little questioned the choice of Mr Shewan to lead an inquiry into the disclosure rules for foreign trusts based in New Zealand.

He wrongly claimed that Mr Shewan had once helped advise the Bahamas Government on how to preserve its tax haven status.

Mr Shewan said today that he originally only asked the Labour leader to retract his “defamatory” comments.   Read more »