BREAKING: Colin Craig defamation filed [UPDATED]

Photo / Paul Taylor - A newspaper

Photo / Paul Taylor – A newspaper

Defamation proceedings launched against Colin Craig

A statement of claim under the Defamation Act has been filed in the Auckland High Court today on behalf of Jordan Williams against Colin Craig and officers of the Conservative Party: Nathaniel Heslop, Kevin Stitt and Angela Storr.

The claim relates to statements Mr Craig made at a media conference on 29 July 2015 and a leaflet distributed at the conference and subsequently delivered to mailboxes across New Zealand. The claim against the Conservative Party?s officers relates to the publication of the same.

The claim seeks general damages of $250,000 and punitive damages of $50,000 in relation to Mr Craig?s statements at the media conference. It also seeks general damages of $500,000 and punitive damages of $100,000 in relation to the leaflet.

To date Mr Williams has received no formal claim from Mr Craig.

Mr Williams says, ?Untrue and defamatory statements have been made about me and my conduct in relation to disturbing material I received relating to Mr Craig.”

“Reputation is important to me so I take very seriously any accusations that I have acted improperly or dishonestly. Ongoing public smears left unchallenged can gain currency even if they have low credibility.”

?I have made it extremely clear to Mr Craig that I have not made up any allegations or fabricated material, nor conspired to do the same with Messrs Slater and Stringer.”

?Though this is not a course I take lightly, I am confident in my position and look forward to due process in Court.”

I have instructed defamation specialists Peter McKnight and Ali Romanos to act for me in these proceedings and do not wish to make any further comment at this time.

ENDS

UPDATE

It’s reported Colin Craig has been served. ?It’s official.

Mr Craig told A newspaper

“Obviously it will go to our lawyers and it will be a two-way claim with Mr Williams. We are quite clear in having outlined what he has done wrong.”

Mr Craig said he expected to lodge his own legal action imminently, and was still committed to it and the reasons he had given for it.

“We are in the process of compiling our claims. I mean we have such a vast amount of material that we have got to go through, particularly from Mr Slater and Mr Stringer.

“We haven’t got an actual date by which we will file. Although I would expect it to be in the next week or two.”

The action comes after Mr Craig announced at the July 29 media conference that he would sue Mr Williams, former Conservative board member John Stringer and blogger Cameron Slater for $300,000, $600,000 and $650,000 respectively.

At the conference he held up a booklet, titled Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas, which he claimed outlined a “campaign of defamatory lies” against him.

Mr Craig in the booklet he was releasing he outlined what he saw as the “strategy” to remove him as leader of the Conservative Party.

He has vehemently denied allegations against him, including sexual harassment, payouts against victims and sexually explicit texts. He has previously denied sexual harassment claims involving his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor.

 

– A newspaper

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