Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Joe Hockey sues Fairfax Media

Treasurer Joe Hockey has launched defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media over front-page articles headlined "Treasurer For Sale".

Mr Hockey's lawyers filed an application on Tuesday afternoon against The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times with the NSW registry of the Federal Court. The case will be first mentioned in court on June 12.

By 6pm on Tuesday, Fairfax Media, publisher of smh.com.au, was yet to be served with the writ.

"The Treasurer has filed statements of claim in the federal court in relation to defamation proceedings against The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times and their online services," a spokeswoman for the Treasurer said.

The Treasurer's determination to seek to prosecute this matter against the relevant publications should not be underestimated."

The May 5 articles examined the activities of the North Sydney Forum, a campaign fund-raising body run by Mr Hockey's North Sydney Federal Electoral Conference.

Fairfax Media reported that members were granted meetings with Mr Hockey, including in private boardrooms, in return for annual fees of up to $22,000.

At the time Mr Hockey said he found the stories “offensive and repugnant” and said the matter was in the hands of his lawyers.

POST ORIGINATED FROM http://www.smh.com.au




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