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HomeAustralian NewsFirst listening to in Lachlan Murdoch and Crikey defamation case

First listening to in Lachlan Murdoch and Crikey defamation case


The notion that an article printed in Crikey linking the Murdoch household to the lethal US Capitol riots in January 2021 didn’t trigger Lachlan Murdoch critical hurt is “farcical”, the Federal Court docket heard on Friday morning.

Murdoch is suing Crikey’s writer Personal Media, journalist Bernard Keane and Crikey’s editor-in-chief Peter Fray.

Within the first listening to for the matter, Murdoch’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC informed the courtroom the article, which was written by Keane and printed on June 29 and republished on August 15, accused the Murdochs of being linked to “underhanded criminality which resulted in loss of life”.

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Within the January 6 riots, wherein 5 individuals died, about 2000 individuals entered the US Capitol constructing following statements by former US president Donald Trump that the November 2020 election had been “stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats”.

The Crikey article named the Murdoch household as “unindicted co-conspirators” of former US president Donald Trump, as a result of Murdoch household’s possession of Fox Information, which had amplified these statements.

Most of this morning’s proceedings had been involved with understanding a timetable for the listening to. Justice Michael Wigney indicated that the earliest attainable date for the proposed nine-day listening to could be March 27 subsequent yr, however events will return to courtroom on October 10 for an interlocutory listening to. 

Personal Media is utilizing a brand new public curiosity defence, in what’s more likely to be the primary check of the legislation in Australia. As well as, a brand new “critical hurt” check is now legislation in most components of Australia, together with NSW, the place the trial shall be held. The writer denies that the article satisfies the intense hurt check, a matter which was strongly disputed in courtroom this morning.

Chrysanthou stated that the supply had been meant solely to “weed out trivial, vexatious, yard disputes”.  

On Wednesday, Will Hayward, CEO of Personal Media, issued an announcement and video.

“Taking over this battle is dangerous and we aren’t silly sufficient to foretell its end result,” Hayward stated.

“Nevertheless, we consider that there’s a difficulty of basic public significance at stake, and that’s the reason we’re defending the case introduced towards our firm and our journalists.”

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