Dunkley’s legal case against Bean goes on

A legal action between Michael Dunkley and Opposition Leader Marc Bean over an online post continues in the courts.

The Premier launched legal actions against Mr Bean last year after a series of posts by the Progressive Labour Party leader on the “Bermuda Election 2012” Facebook page in September 2013, complaining that the content of the posts was defamatory.

Mr Bean has denied the allegations of defamation, stating that of the three claims by Mr Dunkley, one is protected as fair comment, while the other two do not mean what is alleged.

During a hearing in Chambers on Friday, lawyer Alan Dunch, representing Mr Dunkley, asked the courts to strike down the fair comment defence.

He argued that the statement, which cannot be repeated for legal reasons, could not be classified as fair comment because it was stated as a fact.

Even if the statement could be classified as a comment, he said that for it to be classified as fair comment it must be supported by facts.

However, lawyer Eugene Johnston, representing Mr Bean, argued that the statement in question was clearly a comment rather than a statement of fact, and that he fully intends to prove to the courts that there was a “substrata of facts” on which Mr Bean based his comment.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Chief Justice Ian Kawaley said that he would reserve judgment on the matter until a later date.

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