Busi­ness­man vs blog­ger

Defama­tion claim seeks $ 300k from ‘ Mag­pie’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

A TOWNSVILLE busi­ness­man is su­ing a lo­cal blog­ger for $ 300,000, claim­ing on­line posts made him ap­pear “in­com­pe­tent”, “cor­rupt­ible” and “not to be trusted”.

For­mer North­ern Fury chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ra­bieh Krayem has sought $ 300,000 in dam­ages from Mal­colm Weatherup, who op­er­ates a blog called Townsville Mag­pie.

Mr Krayem, who is be­ing rep­re­sented by Em­anate Le­gal, claims in court doc­u­ments that he has been de­famed through the web­site www. townsville mag­pie. com. au and its cor­re­spond­ing Face­book, Linkedin and Twit­ter ac­counts.

Eleven al­legedly defam­a­tory posts are iden­ti­fied in the claim, with pub­li­ca­tions oc­cur­ring be­tween Oc­to­ber 22, 2016, and May 28, 2017. In the first mat­ter, Mr Krayem al­leges that on Oc­to­ber 22, 2016, Mr Weatherup, a for­mer Bul­letin jour­nal­ist, pub­lished a story on his web­site un­der the sub­head­ing “Scoop ex­clu­sively re­vealed: North­ern Fury signs in­vis­i­ble player.”

Mr Krayem claims the post de­famed him by de­scrib­ing him as a “dis­graced and dis­grace­ful” per­son. Mr Krayem al­leges Mr Weatherup falsely in­sin­u­ated his rep­u­ta­tion was “so bad” that it was mis­lead­ing to re­fer to him as a “lead­ing Townsville busi­ness­man”.

On Oc­to­ber 23, 2016, Mr Krayem’s state­ment of claim al­leges Mr Weatherup made an­other defam­a­tory pub­li­ca­tion by pub­lish­ing a re­ply to a com­ment by “Paul An­der­son of Pim­lico”.

Mr Krayem al­leges the re­ply im­plied he had caused the pub­li­ca­tion of false in­for­ma­tion in re­gards to Townsville City Coun­cil’s new chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

Mr Krayem has also al­leged that, six days later, un­der the sub- head­ing “Be­hind The Anger Of A ‘ Lead­ing Townsville Busi­ness­man’,” he was made to look like a “dud busi­ness­man” by Mr Weatherup.

Mr Krayem also claims the post could be un­der­stood to mean that he was re­spon­si­ble for a “de­ba­cle” at the North­ern Fury Soc­cer Club and that he was re­spon­si­ble for the mul­ti­mil­lion- dol­lar col­lapse of the Hu­ma­nis Group in 2012.

In an­other post on De­cem­ber 20, 2016, Mr Krayem claims Mr Weatherup im­plied that he was cor­rupt­ible, not to be trusted and he de­serves ridicule.

Mr Krayem told the Bul­letin last night that he wanted to stand up for him­self.

“It’s not about money, it’s about rep­u­ta­tion,” he said.

The law­suit was filed in the District Court of Queens­land in Bris­bane on Thurs­day.

Mr Weatherup was yes­ter­day served with court doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to the case and has yet to file a de­fence.

Mr Weatherup was con­tacted for com­ment last night but did not re­spond.

Ra­bieh Krayem.

Mal­colm Weatherup.

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