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Apr 13, 2016

A Case of Witchcraft and Defamation

Said Musa

In court this morning, Palacio gave a sworn statement. The article and the accompanying cartoon were also tendered as evidence.  The argument, however, brings to the fore the issue of fair comment, a legal term for a common law defense in defamation cases involving libel or slander.

 

Said Musa, Attorney for Myrtle Palacio

“Mrs. Palacio testified about the statement, her position and we tendered the written statement, as well as the cartoon in the article itself which was printed in the Guardian Newspaper.  And the article and the cartoon speak for themselves and that is exactly how we have argued the case that this constituted a serious defamation of Mrs. Palacio’s character and reputation.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, in the case just a while ago, the court played a recording of the conversation that Mrs. Palacio had with the hosts of Positive Vibes and she did make certain statements.  The defendant says that that is fair comment and he is reporting back what he heard on that show.  What is your response to that?”

 

Said Musa

“Well, it’s a very, it’s technical argument which I will deal with in my written submissions to the judge, the issue of fair comment.  But I will just say this much at this stage, fair comment must be based on a factual foundation for you to plead fair comment.  And just to say, as Mrs. Palacio said in the transcript that was played back this morning that as opposed to, a caller had called in and suggested a way of dealing with Mr, Windsor who was the returning officer and she was saying, no, no, don’t get down to that which could have a very serious implication.  But she was saying just light a candle and pray for this man, basically that’s what she was saying, but of course they are interpreting that to mean the practice of witchcraft, lighting candles, because she referred to, I will tell you what color candle to use and all this and she made the point in her statement that even in the Methodist religion, as we all know in the Catholic and Anglican, Christian religion that the whole lighting of candles do take place when you want to pray for someone and there is no negative connotation about that.  That’s basically what it comes down to.”

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