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QLD Witnesses Conspired Against Son - Sue for Defamation?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Prometheus, 24 July 2016.

  1. Prometheus

    Prometheus Member

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    Hi.

    My son has been charged with serious criminal offences in Qld which he did not commit. He has been through one trial which ended in a hung jury (11-1 in favour) and a 2nd trial looms. New evidence has surfaced that proves the witnesses against my son have lied and conspired to do so. Should he be successful in the new trial, can he sue these witnesses that lied for Defamation? Would they need to be charged and convicted of a crime such as Perjury or Attempt to Pervert Justice or Conspiracy to Bring False Accusation first?

    He is currently about $80K in debt because of this.

    Thank you for your assistance...
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I'd go see a lawyer ASAP for an $80K debt. He may have multiple grounds for an action against these people, however, keep in mind that the right of action against witnesses does not just depend on your son being found innocent. There are a number of other factors that come into play and it needs lawyers to review all the facts before deciding if a cause of action exists.

    It helps to have the criminal case of false accusations and / or perjury dealt with first. Though keep in mind that you have 12 months from date of publication of defamatory material to bring an action for defamation unless you get a court exemption for up to 3 years. Waiting on the result of of a criminal trial may be sufficient reason for asking for the extension.
     
  3. Prometheus

    Prometheus Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Would publication be deemed as the last time these witnesses give their false evidence which will be in a couple of weeks?
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if false publication/statements to police/court can be considered defamation. The justice system needs witnesses be able to talk to authorities without being afraid of reprisals, so defamation would not normally apply here. However, perjury and false accusations should be chased up with the police.

    If you can prove the witnesses spoke to other people or posted on Facebook / twitter / sms / etc. making false accusations of criminal behaviour, you stand an excellent chance of getting a defamation case off the ground.
     

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