Confirmed: Colin Craig DID defame Jordan Williams

Colin Craig (both of them) with the interviewer and Mr X

Yesterday the news from the Court of Appeal revealed that Colin Craig’s cross-appeals were dismissed and the verdict of the jury upheld: that Colin Craig DID defame Jordan Williams.

Taxpayers’ Union co-founder Jordan Williams may be able to claw back the $1.27 million in damages originally awarded to him in a defamation case.

Williams was awarded the damages by a jury in his case against former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.

The High Court judge presiding over the case later set aside the damages – the largest defamation award in New Zealand, and the maximum Williams had sought.

But on Monday, the Court of Appeal released a decision allowing part of Williams’ appeal, which would see a retrial of his claim for damages.

Other aspects of Williams’ appeal and Craig’s cross-appeal were dismissed. However, the retrial relating to the damages alone, would give Williams the chance to claw back at least some of the initial $1.27m he was initially promised.

The decision also said a judgment would be entered in favour of Williams in accordance with the jury’s verdict on liability.  

In more concise terms, Colin Craig DID defame Jordan Williams. The judges were very clear about that. There are a number of other findings, which drop out of this, contained in the judgment.

The original High Court case Williams took against Craig was hard-fought. One of the lawyers called it “horrendous”.

The background to the case was Craig’s relationship with his press secretary, what was alleged about that, how Craig responded to the allegations at a press conference, and a leaflet drop to 1.6 million homes nationwide.

After the jury’s award was set aside and a new trial ordered, Williams appealed to have the jury’s verdicts upheld.

The Court of Appeal indicated that the damages probably could not stand.

Presiding at the appeal, which was heard at the end of last year, Justice Rhys Harrison said the judges were all anxious not to see further waste of judges’ time, or the resources of Williams and Craig.

Lawyers for both sides stressed how important the case was for Williams and Craig.

Williams’ other lawyer, Peter McKnight, said Williams would agree to having the original trial judge fix damages, even though she appeared to have an adverse view about Williams in some respects.

Colin Craig’s gig is up. This finding is bad, on the issue of defamation, and the judgment will now flow through in at least three other cases. Especially regarding allegations of sexual harrassment of Rachel MacGregor, which have essentially been upheld in this judgment.

There can be no argument now that Colin Craig did defame me. We still await Toogood J’s judgement, which has now taken nine months since the trial.

Jordan Williams – Colin Craig Court of Appeal decision by Cam Slater on Scribd

 

-Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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