Moni’s lawyer to TI-D: take it back or face lawsuite

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 5:08 | Posted in Bloggers' rights, Blogosphere, Freedom of speech, Germany | Leave a comment
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Moni's counselor Udo Vetter yeterday wrote a letter to Transparency International – Deutschland e.V asking them to retreat from statements made by the TI-D board member, Mr. Jochen Bäumel describing Moni as a liar. Unless a written notice of retreat has been received by 4 p.m. today (1400 GMT), Mr Vetter is going to sue TD-I and/or Mr. Bäumel on behalf of Moni for libel and/or slander. Both libel and slander are punishable according to German criminal codex.

Mr. Bäumel said in an interview to the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung yesterday that the facts were misrepresented in Moni's original blog post (English translation here, courtesy of Guido Schlabitz). The web site tagesschau.de belonging to public broadcaster ARD yesterday quoted Jochen Bäumel as saying that Moni's account of the facts was "completely pulled out of the hair".

On Monday, Transparency International – Deutschland e.V. issued a press release that in all substantial parts confirmed the facts in Moni's original post. Apparently realizing their mistake, TI-D then tried to pull back the release. Pulling back a press release is kind of hard to do, as Don Alphonso pointed out when he published it in his blog. Once a release has been issued, it is out.

On other news, TI-D was awarded with the second prize of the MEDIA TENOR Communicator Award 2005 in the cathegory of NGOs, Gerhard Schoolmann reports in Gastgewerbe Gedankensplitter. They were awarded for their achievements in communications. Some timing!

Edit: Guido Schlabitz has also translated the press release issued and then withdrawn by TI-D into English

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