Berry to sue the media…

It’s been a long time coming, but at last Paul Berry has fired his returning salvo in his campaign to clear his name of allegations first made in the Sunday World. At the time the paper was convinced they had a watertight legal bottom line. The timing could not have been more damaging for the party – just four days before the General and Council Elections.

  • Lonely Pint

    Robbie ‘Not Gay’ Williams’ success in the libel courts yesterday must have inspired him to take ’em on.

    Maybe he thought: if he can win, then surely I can.

  • BogExile

    ‘We are what we are’ as a famous badger watching ex-welsh rising star politician once said.

    I hope the allegations are proven untrue because it must be torture to deny your true nature.

    Lets suck it and see.

  • Jim McDowell doesn’t seem to worried…

  • fair_deal

    Can one of the lawyers answer me this – is the secret tape recording admissible?

    I was told its breach of ECHR and can’t be accepted into evidence, is that correct?

    If it is inadmissible then its one person’s word against another.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    ‘….bottom line.’

    No invite to the DUP Xmas bash for you now, Mick.

  • Butterknife

    In a civil case, he will have to prove on the balance of probabilities that his version of events is what the judge should believe. I am sure he will be able to provide the contract for the service that the allegation is based on etc. I fear he is going to drag his wife et alia through the nitty grittey as she is grilled by the prosecution about their sex lives.

  • wonderful

    Tut tut…maybe he will sue the DUP as the attempted suspension could be interpreted as an innuendo suggesting that what was reported…was true?

  • Butterknife

    Well admit it, if you contracted a service from a professional wouldn’t you rather have the service performed:

    a. At home;
    b. At his or her place of work;
    c. In a hotel room etc…

  • Keith M

    Rrgarding the admission of tape recordings into evidence.

    I’m don’t really want to get involved in this thread, because any discussion could be deemed contempt now that a court case is pending however as fair_deal hass asked the question;

    On a strictly legal sense, if there is a tape recording made of your conversation without your knowledge or consent, then it is a technical breach of your privacy. However your rights to privacy could be over-ridden if it could be proved that you lied to a court and that such a tape proved you were lying. In other words, the perjury outweighs your entitlement to privacy.

    It also depends solely on the facts of each case, and given the facts as they currently appear in this particular case, there would be very few judges that would exclude the evidence from such a tape, unless its prejudicial effect far outweighed its probative value.

    This is the last I’m going to say here, and its probably best that this thread is closed for further comments, given what happened here in the past.

  • Brendan

    I’m not a litigator and consequently could be proved wrong here however, there is no issue of breach of privacy because Article 8 of the ECHR does not have horizontal effect, that is to say, there is no right to privacy between individuals. The protection afforded by Article 8 ECHR is against the state. As regards the admissibility of the tape: all material adduced as evidence may be rendered inadmissible where its prejudicial effect outweighs its probative value. However, if the respondents are basing their defence on an assertion that the allegations are true and that the tape recording provides evidence to back this up, it may be contrary to their rights under Article 6 ECHR to deny them the right to adduce evidence which may substantiate their defence.

  • Comrade Stalin

    This is going to be very interesting. The Sunday World are basically saying “bring it on”. Tape recordings are going to be replayed and transcripts of internet conversations are going to be quoted. This is all going to be very interesting.

  • Butterknife

    You made me think there Brendan, not good! You could actually see the steam coming out of my ears.
    Other EU countries have privacy laws to protect their You made me think there Brendan, not good! You could actually see the steam coming out of my ears.
    Other EU countries have privacy laws to protect their citizens, e.g. France (no surprise there!), the UK does not, you just have to look at the Sunday tabloids etc. for the case in point.
    Berry is an MLA, one of the job criterion of any politician is that he or she is expected to attract tabloid criticism, after all that is one way of Joe Bloggs finding out if we should vote him or her back into a position where they represent us, the people. Remember the ‘Back to Basics’ campaign of the Major Government and how the tabloids exposed his morally bankrupt Cabinet! QED. Anything goes under the doctrine of ‘fair comment’ as long as its not 110% libellous.
    The ECHR has effect through the Parliament enacted Human Rights Act 1998. You are right; people may not rely upon it when in civil cases against another individual but that is changing gradually.

  • Tiny

    I once accompanied a friend to see their solicitor about an up-coming and very bitter divorce, when I questioned the past actions of the solicitor, actions that I felt had made a difficult suitation worse, I was reminded that ultimately the solicitor follows the instructions of their client, Berry may have overlooked this forgetting that the lawyer always gets paid!

  • Having just got some stick for having a go at the “circumstantial-only” evidence which is going to be presented against Chris Ward (after the longest interrogation in Northern history) , I would also say that Paul Berry is equally deserving of not being tried by the media. I have always found Jim McDowell of The Sunday World to be an obnoxious and self-serving individual. I have no time for Berry’s political views but I would take great satisfaction in seeing him take down McDowell and his two-bit tabloid rag.

  • J B G

    Well what is the overall verdict here from those watching this wee convo?
    On one hand it seems that PB would not take this case unless he was sure of winning. If hes not already ruined (and to be honest the harm is probably already done in his local rural, evangenical constituency) a defeat would surely make him have to emmigrate. The humiliation, which is already at high levels, would be absolutly unbearable. (irrespective of the ego size). But is Mr McDowell too over confident? Mind you its hardly the SW’s first litagation case is it. I wanna hear more views on this. Have to say this is one of the most interesting cases in a long time. Totally unpredictable

  • As a former resident of Berry’s constituency JBG is correct about Berry already being damaged goods in the view of the electorate(and Peter Robinson). Cannot see anyone benefiting other than the lawyers and Danny Kennedy’s vote.