The Island Sun Newspaper has been fined $100,000.00 for defamation, the latest defamation case against the local media for 2016.
The defamation suit was filed against the newspaper by the Member of Parliament for North West Guadalcanal Bodo Dettke when he was Minister of Forestry and Research.
Mr. Dettke filed the case after Island Sun published a front page article in May 2015, headed “ANZ, BSP said to be still entertaining logging companies”.
The story claimed Mr. Dettke who was the Minister of Forestry and Research at the time, is believed to be involved with the logging companies in trying to bring in the bank and take control of the country’s logging industry.
Mr. Dettke filed his claim on May 2015, claiming reputational damage, distress, and embarrassment he had and will continue to suffer and the effect on his reputation as a Parliamentarian and National leader, as well as damage to his trade or business reputation and “good will”.
Meanwhile, following the lodging of the claim, the paper published an apology retracting each and every untrue or incorrect statement made by the original story.
But Mr. Dettke’s lawyer Gabriel Suri said in Court the apology came too late, some three months after the damage by publication was done.
The hearing was conducted on 6th August and judgement were delivered on 6th September by Justice John Brown.