Sir Robert wins defamation case, damages awarded
Former politician and property tycoon Sir Robert Jones has won his defamation case against Kapiti Coast investment adviser Chris Lee and has been awarded damages of $104,000.A jury has just returned the verdict in the High Court at Wellington, denying Mr
Fri, 14 May 2010
Former politician and property tycoon Sir Robert Jones has won his defamation case against Kapiti Coast investment adviser Chris Lee and has been awarded damages of $104,000.
A jury has just returned the verdict in the High Court at Wellington, denying Mr Lee's defence of honest opinion. Sir Robert was not in court when the verdict was read.
Mr Lee told NBR he accepted the verdict and did not wish to comment further.
He also released a statement saying it was not the result he wanted and that there would be "no morning tea fo the staff on Monday".
"I guess there are two positive aspects to this. I have spent so much time reading abou the law I have skipped some meals. This pleases my wife and tailor and I have some excellent research completed for the day when I write my book. There is no such thing as a wasted experience," the statement said.
Sir Robert was awarded the money for the hurt he suffered over a critical article which suggested he had inflated his investment company's assets to increase his management fee.
He had been seeking up to $800,000 in damages.
The article, published in Wellington community paper City Life in April 2007, criticised a contract between Robert Jones Holdings and Robt Jones Investments.
The article incorrectly said the investment company paid 8 percent of its gross assets to the holding company as a management fee. The fee was actually 8 percent of its gross income.
NBR broke news of the stoush in print on 6 November "Don't mess with Jonesy".
Fri, 14 May 2010
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