Businessman vs blogger
Defamation claim seeks $ 300k from ‘ Magpie’
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.