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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Bokova v Associated Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 2032 (QB) (31 July 2018)
Cite as:  WLR(D) 502,  QB 861,  EMLR 6,  EWHC 2032 (QB),  2 WLR 232
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS LIST
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| Irina Bokova
- and –
|Associated Newspapers Limited
for the Claimant
Andrew Caldecott QC and David Glen (instructed by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP) for the Defendant
Hearing date: 8 June 2018
Crown Copyright ©
The Honourable Mr Justice Nicklin :
"… it is still open to a defendant to plead so as to justify any reasonable meaning of the words published which a jury, properly directed, might find to be the real meaning… At the heart of this case, of course, is the proposition which asserts that the scope of the defence of justification should not depend upon the way in which the plaintiff pleads his case, but on the meanings which the words published are capable of bearing."
"[The defendant] does not have to identify the precise meaning for which he contends; but he must make clear to the plaintiff what case he proposes to make in precise detail. This may well, and in most cases probably will, disclose one or more meanings of the words which he is prepared to justify; but he is not obliged to plead specifically any meaning for which he contends."
Indeed, there even appears to have been a rule preventing the defendant from pleading the meaning he said the words bore: see Viscount de L'Isle -v- Times Newspapers Ltd  1 WLR 49, 58C-D per Mustill LJ referring to §11.11 in Duncan & Neill on Defamation (2nd edition, 1983, Butterworths):
"A defendant is not allowed, however, to set out in his defence what he says the words mean, though, it is submitted that this rule needs re-examination; in many cases one of the crucial issues at the trial is the meaning of the words and it would be clearly convenient if the precise issue between the parties was placed on the record in the pleadings before the hearing."
i) there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant was guilty of fraud in relation to the appointment of Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores as her assistant director-general for strategic planning;
ii) the Claimant made a dishonest false statement in her CV by claiming that she was Bulgaria's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 1997;
iii) the Claimant was party to making dishonest false statements about the number of her visits to Russia since becoming Director-General of UNESCO;
iv) there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant has used tainted monies to purchase two Manhattan apartments and help her son pay off a £540,000 mortgage; and
v) the Claimant was personally responsible as Director-General for bringing UNESCO into disrepute by naming an international prize after "Equatorial Guinea's brutal dictator Teodoro Obian Nguema, who encourages rumours that he eats the flesh of his enemies".
i) the Claimant to serve Amended Particulars of Claim "consequential upon [his] determination of the Preliminary Issue";
ii) the Defendant to serve any Amended Defence "consequential upon [his] determination of the Preliminary Issue";
iii) the Claimant to confirm whether she intended to proceed with the balance of her application to strike out the defence of truth and for judgment on her claim or to issue a revised application to strike out ("the Strike Out Application"); and
iv) that a further hearing would be listed after 24 April 2018 in order to deal with (1) the Strike Out Application (if it was pursued) and the First Amended Defence Application.
"6. Insofar as the Online Article bore the following meanings, in whole or in part, and the Daily Mail Article bore meaning 6(1), they were
it wasin substance true pursuant to s.2 of the Defamation Act 2013:
PARTICULARS OF MEANING
(1) There are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant was guilty of fraud (i.e.
knowingly and culpably involved in the seriously improper and wrongfuldishonest preferment) in the appointment of the under-qualified Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores to the post of UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for the Bureau of Strategic Planning and that the issues merited a comprehensive external independent investigation given that the Claimant's integrity was seriously in issue.
wereare reasonable grounds to suspect that some sources ofthe Claimant 's family finances werehas been in knowing receipt of tainted monies and has used those monies to her knowledge by impropriety and, in particular, by her undue proximity to the oppressive and dictatorial Azerbaijan regime including in the context of theto purchase property and/or to help her son pay off a £540,000 mortgage of several expensive foreign properties by the Claimant and her family within a narrow timeframe;
There were reasonable grounds to question the honesty of theThe Claimant 's claim that amade dishonest false statements about her having been Bulgaria's Foreign Minister, when she had never held that office but had only been acting Minister and even then not for the period claimed which was were made in the Claimant'sin her curriculum vitae as published on UNESCO's website was a mistake; alternatively, there were reasonable grounds to suspect that the said false statements had been published by her dishonestly;
(4) During her period as Director-General of UNESCO, the Claimant has personally supported a government, namely Azerbaijan, whose conduct is notorious and an affront to the core values which UNESCO was established to preserve and protect, and whose endorsement by the Claimant accordingly served to damage UNESCO's international credibility and to bring the organisation into disrepute.
i) Paragraphs 6(1), 6(2) and 6(4) of the Amended Defence (three of the Lucas-Box meanings – see paragraph 18 above); and
ii) the following paragraphs of the particulars of truth:
a) paragraphs 9 to 27.3.2; and
b) paragraphs 31 to 32.4; and
iii) Paragraphs 36 to 36.2 (relied upon in mitigation of damages).
Amended Defence Heading Meaning(s) §9 The Claimant's duties as a Director-General of UNESCO 1, 2, and 4 §§10-12 The Claimant's role in the appointments of Ms Thompson-Flores (with sub-headings):
(i) Ms Thompson-Flores' appointment as Director of Human Resources
(ii) Ms Thompson-Flores' appointment as Assistant Director-General for the Bureau of Strategic Planning
(iii) The IOS Information Report's references to further investigations and the Claimant's treatment of the IOS Information Report
1 §§13-27 The propriety of the Claimant's family finances (with sub-headings):
(i) The Republic of Azerbaijan
(ii) The 'Azerbaijan Laundromat'
(iii) The Claimant's husband and the Azerbaijan Laundromat
(iv) The Claimant's property acquisitions
4 §§31-32 The Claimant's support for controversial regimes and projects which are at odds with UNESCO's core values 6
36. The Defendant will also rely on the 'grave concerns' which were publicly identified by the Department for International Development's widely ventilated Multilateral Development Review (December 2016) about UNESCO's continued organisational effectiveness, governance and transparency since 2011 (concerns which inevitably reflected directly on the competence and credibility of the Claimant's leadership and governance of the organisation). That Review listed UNESCO as one of the 'poorest performers' amongst multilateral agencies worldwide and identified numerous serious failings, including that:
36.1 UNESCO's 'organisational effectiveness and governance' continued to fall short of acceptable standards. There remained a need for 'dramatic improvement', including an urgent need to 'improve transparency at all levels, learning from leading agencies in this field, such as UNDP and UNICEF. UNESCO must meet higher standards of openness concerning the decisions made by senior management, committees and the board. They must be fully transparent about all spending, including off-budget expenditure. UNESCO must also publish the results of its investments, and value for money must be improved across the organisation - including back-office efficiencies, procurement processes, programme decisions and better targeting of resources to poorer countries.'
36.2 'Weaknesses in recruitment' should also be addressed, with the Review making the pointed comment that 'appointments must be meritocratic.'
Striking-out generally under CPR Part 3.4(2)
i) The Claimant's application to strike out the parts of the Amended Defence is brought under CPR Part 3.4(2):
"The Court may strike out a statement of case if it appears to the court-
(a) that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim;
(b) that the statement of case is an abuse of the court's process or is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal for the proceedings; or
(c) that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order."
ii) The Claimant has not sought the dismissal or striking out of any part of the Amended Defence under Part 24.
iii) The practical effect is that, for present purposes, the Court should assume that the factual averments in the Amended Defence will be proved at trial: Sharma -v- Jay  EWHC 1230 (QB)  per Eady J; Collins Stewart -v- The Financial Times Ltd  EMLR 5  per Tugendhat J.
iv) The Court can strike out parts of a Defence if satisfied they are peripheral and not essential to the just determination of the real issues between the parties and the investigation of which would be disproportionate to their importance to those issues: McPhilemy -v- Times Newspapers Ltd  3 All ER 775, 791 per May LJ. What is peripheral is to be judged objectively on the facts of each case: McKeith -v- News Group Newspapers  EMLR 780  per Eady J.
Striking out Particulars of Truth
v) Adopting the approach in (iii) and (iv) above, the Court can and should strike out particulars of truth if they are incapable of supporting the defence of truth; or they are peripheral.
Particulars supporting a "grounds to suspect" meaning
vi) Taken from Miller -v- Associated Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 39  per Moore-Bick LJ:
a) a defendant who has repeated an allegation of a defamatory nature about the claimant can only succeed in justifying it by proving the truth of the underlying allegation – not merely the fact that the allegation has been made ("the repetition rule");
b) it is necessary to plead (and ultimately prove) the primary facts and matters giving rise to reasonable grounds of suspicion objectively judged;
c) generally, it is necessary to plead allegations of fact tending to show that it was some conduct on the claimant's part that gave rise to the grounds of suspicion (the "conduct rule");
d) but "strong circumstantial evidence" can itself contribute to reasonable grounds for suspicion;
e) it is impermissible to plead as a primary fact the proposition that some person or persons (e.g. law enforcement authorities) announced, suspected or believed the claimant to be guilty: "a defendant is not entitled to defend a libel action by proving the mere fact of an investigation, because proof of that does not establish anything of relevance": Miah -v- BBC  EWHC 1054 (QB)  per Warby J;
f) a defendant may adduce hearsay evidence to establish a primary fact – but this in no way undermines the rule that the statements (still less beliefs) of any individual cannot themselves serve as primary facts;
g) a defendant cannot rely upon post-publication events in order to establish the existence of reasonable grounds, since (by way of analogy with fair comment) the issue has to be judged as at the time of publication;
h) but, unlike the rule applying in fair comment cases, the defendant may rely upon facts subsisting at the time of publication even if he was unaware of them at that time; and
i) a defendant may not plead particulars in such a way as to have the effect of transferring the burden to the claimant of having to disprove them.
i) While it is an essential requisite of a Chase level 2 defence that the particulars must focus on the conduct of the claimant said to give rise to the suspicion, in a complicated case it may be necessary to portray some of the background and to connect the main facts relied upon. But the fundamental – and ultimate – question is: whether taken as a whole the particulars demonstrate conduct of the claimant that gives rise to the suspicion: in other words, on the facts pleaded, a person could suspect that the claimant was implicated Miller -v- Associated Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 3721 - per Sharp J; and Miah -v- BBC - per Warby J.
ii) In JSC BTA Bank -v- Ablyazov (No.8)  1 WLR 1331  Rix LJ said:
"It is, however, the essence of a successful case of circumstantial evidence that the whole is stronger than individual parts. It becomes a net from which there is no escape. That is why a jury is often directed to avoid piecemeal consideration of a circumstantial case: R -v- Hillier (2007) 233 ALR 634, cited in Archbold's Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice, 2012 ed, para 10-3. Or, as Lord Simon of Glaisdale put it in R -v- Kilbourne  AC 729, 758, 'Circumstantial evidence … works by cumulatively, in geometrical progression, eliminating other possibilities'".
(1) It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true.
(2) Subsection (3) applies in an action for defamation if the statement complained of conveys two or more distinct imputations.
(3) If one or more of the imputations is not shown to be substantially true, the defence under this section does not fail if, having regard to the imputations which are shown to be substantially true, the imputations which are not shown to be substantially true do not seriously harm the claimant's reputation.
(4) The common law defence of justification is abolished and, accordingly, section 5 of the Defamation Act 1952 (justification) is repealed.
i) A defendant must show the relevant defamatory imputation is "substantially true": s.2(1). The Explanatory Notes to the Act refer to the Court of Appeal's decision in Chase -v- News Group Newspapers Ltd  EMLR 11 : the defendant has to "establish the 'essential' or 'substantial' truth of the sting of the libel. To prove the truth of some lesser defamatory meaning does not provide a complete defence".
ii) The Court should not be too literal in its approach. Proof of every detail is not required where the relevant fact is not essential to the sting of the publication: Rothschild -v- Associated Newspapers Ltd  EMLR 18  per Laws LJ (approving Turcu -v- News Group Newspapers  EWHC 799 (QB)  per Eady J). The task is "to isolate the essential core of the libel and not be distracted by inaccuracies around the edge – however extensive": Turcu .
The question for the Court – when considering a striking out application – is whether the particulars of truth are capable of proving the substantial truth of the defamatory imputation(s).
i) "directly relevant background context" (Burstein ) or "directly relevant background facts" (Turner ) is admissible; evidence of general reputation, character or disposition which is not directly connected with the subject matter of the defamatory publication is not (Burstein );
ii) the Court should start with the defamatory publication in order to determine the relevant background context and confine it properly (Burstein );
iii) the background context the Defendant seeks to rely on must concern reputation in relation to "the relevant sector" of the claimant's life (Burstein ). This should be assessed by starting with a careful identification of the sector of the claimant's life; too broad an approach will defeat the function of direct relevance (Turner );
iv) it will generally be unfair and irrelevant for a claimant complaining of a specific defamatory publication to be subjected to a roving inquiry into aspects of her life unconnected with the publication (Burstein );
v) the principle is not limited to material which might otherwise be admissible as part of a failed plea of truth or honest comment (Dhir ); and
vi) a useful test will be whether, having regard to the way the claimant's case is advanced, it could be said that there would be a real risk of the Court assessing damages on a false basis if the material was excluded (Turner  and ).
The Lucas-Box meaning
"… the Lucas-Box meanings address the imputations found in the Judge's meanings at (1), (2), (4) and (5). D does not seek to defend the truth of the Judge's meaning (3), but denies that it caused any serious harm to C's reputation having regard to the matters which are alleged and proved to be true and the provisions of s.2(3) of the Defamation Act 2013..."
i) first, the purpose was to set out clearly what meaning the Defendant was seeking to prove true; and
ii) second, although the Defendant was not thereafter entitled to defend the words complained of in any meaning the words were capable of bearing, it could defend a meaning that bore 'fidelity' to the meaning found by the Court.
i) The only relevant and permissible route open to a defendant who wishes to advance a defence of truth following a determination of actual meaning is to plead, if it can, that it will prove the imputation(s) substantially true. If it is unable or unwilling to prove true one or more imputations, then it should identify those which it does not contend are true.
ii) In this case, I can only assume that amended Lucas-Box meaning (1) (Appendix A) is a statement of what the Defendant contends it can prove true and, if it establishes that, it will substantially prove true meaning (1) found by the Court. The only part that appears to make any material difference is the definition of fraud as "dishonest preferment". I cannot see any point in the variance in the rest of the meaning, which makes it all the more baffling as to why it has been changed. Whether proof of the "dishonest preferment" of Ms Thompson-Flores will be found substantially to justify meaning (1) would be a matter for trial. What is clear however, is that substantially justifying only "dishonest preferment" would not. That is one of the reasons why this exercise is impermissible. The Defendant cannot re-interpret the meanings found by the Court (to suit its case) and then argue at trial that those have been proved to be substantially true.
iii) The Lucas-Box equivalent of meaning (2) seems to serve no purpose. If there is one, it has not been explained. But the principle is clear. The only relevant question is whether the Defendant can prove substantially true meaning (2) as found by the Court. Seeking to introduce a colourably different Lucas-Box meaning either serves no purpose or is an illegitimate attempt to reinterpret or redefine the meaning found by the Court.
iv) Insofar as meaning (4) seeks to make clear that what has to be established is knowing receipt of tainted monies, that has clarified an important point. But it does not need to be made in a Lucas-Box meaning which is different in other respects from the meaning found by the Court.
Striking out Paragraphs of the Particulars of Truth
"(1) An order pursuant to CPR 3.4(2)(a) and (b) and/or the inherent jurisdiction striking out paragraphs 6 (except for 6(3) and any reference to it in paragraph 6) and [paragraphs] 9 – 27.3.2 and 31 – 32.4 in that they disclose no reasonable grounds for defending the claim and/or are an abuse of the Court's process and/or are otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings on the grounds that:
(A) in relation to the Lucas-Box meanings 6(1) and 6(4) proof of the same could not prove the truth of the actual meaning (determined by Mr Justice Dingemans…) and/or defamatory sting (if different) of the words complained of and it could not show that any of the imputations conveyed by the statements complained of are substantially true pursuant to the defence at s.2(1) Defamation Act 2013 – see Schedule attached to this Application Notice ("the Schedule") for further details of this and other grounds as indicated below;
(B) the Particulars of Truth contained in paragraphs 9 – 27.3.2 (in support of Lucas-Box meanings 6(1) and (2)) and 31 – 32.4 (in support of Lucas-Box meaning 6(4)) of the Amended Defence are not sufficient in that they are not capable of proving the actual meaning and/or defamatory sting (if different) of the words complained of and they are not capable of showing that any of the imputations conveyed by the statements complained of are substantially true pursuant to the defence at s.2(1) Defamation Act 2013 – see the Schedule;
(C) the Particulars of Truth in paragraphs 11 – 27.3.2 are not properly particularised in that they do not plead a sufficiently clear and coherent relevant case against the Claimant – see the Schedule;
(D) paragraphs 24.3.5 impermissibly pleads as a primary fact in support of reasonable grounds to suspect the subjective concern of a third party (Credit Suisse);
(E) paragraphs 12.3.1 – 12.3.3 impermissibly speculate as to the factual position in support of a defence of reasonable grounds to suspect and/or improperly place the burden on the Claimant to clarify her state of knowledge and disprove one or other of the speculative hypothetical factual scenarios pleaded;
(F) paragraphs 22.3.6 and 24.3.7 impermissibly rely on post-publication conduct in order to establish reasonable grounds to suspect;
(G) paragraphs 12.3.2(a) and the Lucas-Box meaning at paragraph 6(4) and paragraphs 31 – 32.4 are not confined as they ought to be to matters strictly necessary for the fair determination of the dispute between the parties and/or the matters contained in 6(4) and paragraphs 31 – 32.4 ought not to be permitted to be relied upon by the Defendant in support of its defence of Truth pursuant to s.2(1) Defamation Act 2013 whether as a matter of law or case management – see the Schedule.
(2) A further order that the matters pleaded at paragraph 36 – 36.2 of the Amended Defence are not admissible as directly relevant background context in relation to the Court's assessment of damages and ought to be struck out pursuant to CPR 3.4(2)(b) and/or the inherent jurisdiction of the Court.
The Schedule attached to the Application Notice runs to 7 pages. It is set out in Appendix B to this judgment. I am going to address the Amended Defence by section (using the headings in the pleading). I should make clear that any person referred to in this judgment on the basis that s/he is referred to in the Amended Defence has, obviously, not had any opportunity to respond to any allegations that may be made against him/her. At this early stage in the proceedings, no evidence has been produced even to substantiate what are presently only allegations made in a statement of case. The Court is certainly not making any findings against these individuals.
(1) The Claimant's role in the appointments of Ms Thompson-Flores
i) a demonstrated experience in developing and managing the preparation of the programme and budgets of a large international organisation; and
ii) a demonstrated ability in the field of resource building and mobilisation.
"The Claimant's letter of censure is also silent as to when the Claimant first knew that Ms Thompson-Flores had corrected her curriculum vitae and it makes no assertion that Ms Thompson-Flores had failed to tell the Claimant of the initial misrepresentation and the correction. However:
(a) If Ms Thompson-Flores had failed to alert the Claimant (and UNESCO's Ethics Office) when she corrected her curriculum vitae, that continued attempt to conceal the true position would have amounted to a further gross dereliction of duty by Ms Thompson-Flores, which would have increased the gravity of her offence still further and should have disqualified Ms Thompson-Flores from holding any (or at the very least any senior) post within UNESCO.
(b) Alternatively, if Ms Thompson-Flores had informed the Claimant of the fact of the misrepresentation prior to her appointment to the BSP post, the Claimant clearly should have not appointed her to that very senior post and should have instead taken immediate disciplinary action."
"… the Claimant's suppression of the IOS Information Report was unwarranted, whether on the basis of any informal legal advice allegedly received by her in a personal capacity or otherwise, and evidences an unjustifiable readiness:
(a) to place Ms Thompson-Flores interests before those of UNESCO; and
(b) to seek to limit the damage to the Claimant's own reputation and interests which was liable to be caused by the formal circulation of a report that analysed her role in Ms Thompson-Flores' appointment in detail at a time when she was positioning to be a candidate to be UN Secretary-General"
"Having regard to the above and in particular:
12.5.1 the Claimant's aforesaid role in enabling Ms Thompson-Flores to apply for and obtain the BSP post (despite her transparently unqualified status) and her failure to report the conflict of interest which arose as a consequence to UNESCO's Ethics Office;
12.5.2 the Claimant's aforesaid role in enabling Ms Thompson-Flores previously to apply for and obtain the DHR post and her failure to report the conflict of interest which arose in that context to the Ethics Office;
12.5.3. the Claimant's aforesaid action and inaction in relation to the serious disciplinary issues to which Ms Thompson-Flores' conduct gave rise; and
12.5.4 the Claimant's unjustifiable decision formally to withdraw the IOS Information Report into those matters and the conduct of herself and Ms Thompson-Flores in that context;
there are reasonable grounds to suspect the Claimant of dishonest preferment in the appointment of Ms Thompson-Flores to the BSP post."
(2) The propriety of the Claimant's family finances
i) It is incumbent on all UNESCO employees, and especially the Claimant as Director General, to adhere to the organisation's professional and ethical codes of conduct. In particular, employees should:
a) avoid any action and in particular any public pronouncement which may adversely reflect on their status or on the integrity, independence and impartiality which are required by that status; and
b) avoid (or where they arise immediately disclose) possible conflicts of interests which may occur because of an employee's "personal or familial dealings with third parties, individuals, beneficiaries, or other institutions".
a) all UN employees must ensure that any possible conflict of interest arising from personal or familial dealings should be disclosed and addressed in the interests of the organisation;
b) UN employees should avoid dealings with individuals or institutions where this might lead to preferential treatment (or the perception of the same), including (most obviously) dealings with which involve gifts/financial benefits; and
c) where necessary, employees are expected to disclose personal assets to enable UNESCO to make sure that there is no conflict.
iii) Azerbaijan, under the autocratic Aliyev regime has been severely criticised by independent observers for its record on issues such as freedom of expression, journalistic independence and electoral reform. It is also notorious for attempting to improve that reputation by pursuing aggressive and often corrupt lobbying of influential international actors and institutions, particularly those (like UNESCO) which have specific interests in monitoring Azerbaijan's record on human rights and democratic procedures.
iv) Despite the regime's dire human rights and democratic record and the concerns raised about its corrupt international lobbying (all of which conflict with the fundamental values which UNESCO is designed to promote and uphold), the Claimant has been prepared closely and publicly to align herself and UNESCO with Azerbaijan and the Aliyevs to the very substantial benefit of the latter's international image.
v) Between 2012 and 2014, it is alleged that the Claimant's husband received a series of payments totalling €345,000 from what are said to be 4 opaque Azerbaijani-based shell companies which: (a) were dependent on enormous, daily inflows of money from the Azerbaijan state; (b) and through which it is alleged that the Azerbaijan state laundered money and sought to channel illicit payments, including to influential individuals who supported Azerbaijan's agenda on the international stage.
vi) On his own account, those payments were made to the Claimant's husband pursuant to consultancy work which he performed on a major Azerbaijan government funded programme in the Kura-Aras river basin. Even on this account however:
a) the very substantial financial benefit which the Claimant's husband (and the Claimant as his wife) would have gained from that work would have involved a clear and serious conflict of interest for the Claimant in her role as UNESCO Director General and particularly so given her vocal public support for the Aliyevs in that role;
b) there are reasonable grounds to suspect (on this hypothesis) that the Claimant must have known of the nature of her husband's work in Azerbaijan and the provenance of payments which he received (and therefore their impropriety), particularly given her role as UNESCO Director General and her duty to avoid familial conflicts of interest; and
c) none of this alleged work was ever disclosed to UNESCO by the Claimant as an actual or possible conflict of interest.
vii) In fact, there are in addition reasonable grounds to suspect that:
a) the Claimant's husband did not actually undertake consultancy work in respect of the Kura-Aras programme; and
b) instead, the payments to him were improperly routed through the Core Laundromat Companies, at the behest of individuals associated with the Azerbaijan government, to the Claimant's knowledge and in order to solicit the favourable political, diplomatic and cultural influence which she could exert internationally on Azerbaijan's behalf and this was known to the Claimant.
"22.3 There are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant knew at all material times of the nature of her husband's consultancy work in Azerbaijan and the provenance of the money which he received as a consequence, not least given:
22.3.1 The duration, logistical complexity and intensity of that work according to the description given on Mr Mitrev's own account;
22.3.2 The work which Mr Mitrev claimed to have undertaken on the Kura-Aras programme must, by its nature, have necessitated regular visits to the country;
22.3.3 The very substantial contribution which that work made to her family's income between at least 2012 and 2014;
22.3.4 The Claimant's obligations, including under the express terms of the Standards at Paragraph 9.3 above, to ensure that familial financial interests did not conflict with her role as an employee of UNESCO and therefore to keep herself fully informed about her husband's business activities, particularly in the context of Azerbaijan given:
(a) The Claimant's own close involvement with that country, including meetings and visits at which Mr Mitrev also attended in person (as to which Paragraph 15 above is repeated);
(b) Azerbaijan's international reputation for extravagant and improper international lobbying (referred to at Paragraph 14 above).
22.3.5 Mr Mitrev's corresponding obligation to keep his wife informed about the same, given the nature and obligations of her office as Director-General of UNESCO;
22.3.6 Mr Mitrev's refusal to answer pointed questions posed by journalists for the Berlingske newspaper as to whether the Claimant was aware of the said payments;
22.3.7 Spouses engaging in very substantial spending (including joint purchases of the magnitude of the property acquisitions referred to at Paragraphs 25 and 26 below) would be expected to discuss the nature and provenance of their combined assets and the potential sources of the required funding. Moreover, the Claimant was obliged to do so here in order to identify actual or possible conflicts of interests with her position as UNESCO Director-General; and
22.3.8 The Claimant's personal involvement in the oversight of her family's financial investments (including, specifically, matters relating to the properties which she and Mr Mitrev have acquired), a reality which is apparent from an entry on the French Commercial Court Registry Agency which confirms that:
(a) On 1 January 2016, the Claimant established a company in her married name: 'Madame Irina Mitrev';
(b) The said company's trading activity is defined as 'rental housing' and the company address is said to be 11, Place Vauban, 75007, Paris 7."
24.3 The said payments were made on behalf and/or at the behest of the individuals associated with Azerbaijan Government to Mr Mitrev to the Claimant's knowledge and in order to solicit the favourable political, diplomatic and cultural influence which the Claimant could exert internationally on Azerbaijan's behalf as a consequence of her visible public profile and platform as UNESCO Director-General. In further support of this suspicion, the Defendant will rely on Paragraph 22.3 above and the following facts and matters:
24.3.1 It is apparent that the Core Laundromat Companies were used by the Azerbaijan government and its associates as a 'slush fund' and that many substantial payments which were made from them were to remunerate individuals and entities who were publicly and politically supportive of Azerbaijan's interests on the international stage and/or who were prepared to issue statements which were sympathetic to President Aliyev's government. For instance, substantial payments were made from the Core Laundromat Companies to:
[particulars are given of 4 entities or individuals alleged to have received payments for such activities]
24.3.2 Several of the payments to Mr Mitrev took place from the same Core Laundromat Company bank account and on the same day as payments to the individuals at Paragraph 24.3.1 above. For instance: [particulars are given]
24.3.3 Even allowing for the acknowledged desire for UNESCO to work and maintain good relations with its member states, the support and assistance which the Claimant has offered to Azerbaijan generally, and the President and First Lady in particular, on both an official and personal level during her time as Director-General is very notable, not least given Azerbaijan's dire record on issues such as human rights, democratic reform and freedom of expression (values which UNESCO was established to safeguard and promote as an organisation). In addition, her support is also of a piece with the similar support and public endorsement which the individuals referred to at Paragraph 24.3.1 above made whilst receiving remuneration from the Azerbaijani state (including through payments made through the Core Laundromat Companies).
24.3.4 Both the Kura-Aras programme and similar emergency relief and reconstruction efforts aimed at mitigating the effect of a devastating 2012 earthquake in the Zadatala and Baleken regions of Azerbaijan have been beset by allegations of official corruption and widespread misappropriation of funds. In this regard:
(a) The budgets for both the Kura-Aras and Zadatala earthquake relief programmes were managed and overseen by the MES and, in particular, by Kamaleddin Heydarov, the Minister of Emergency Solutions and Civilian Defence (a hugely powerful oligarch within Azerbaijan and a long-time close associate of the Aliyev family).
(b) A substantial proportion of the AZN 450 million budget which was originally allocated to the MES for use on the Kura-Aras programme never reached its intended recipients, many of whom have been forced to bring legal complaints against the MES before both the Azerbaijan national courts and also the European Court of Human Rights as a consequence.
(c) Mr Heydarov and his family have played an integral role in co-ordinating and financing Azerbaijan's programme of international lobbying. For instance, his son, Taleh Heydarov, established and manages the European Azerbaijani Society (TEAS), a lobby group whose work aims to promote the political and cultural aspirations of Azerbaijan on the international stage, including by funding lavish trips for foreign politicians and influential individuals to Azerbaijan and luxury stays at hotels owned by the Heydarov family.
24.3.5 As noted at Paragraphs 19.6 and 19.7 above, two attempted payments were rejected by Credit Suisse 'due to sensitivities' (a term which, it is inferred, reflected concern on the bank's part that the provenance and nature of the payments was ostensibly suspicious and potentially contrary to its due diligence and proceeds of crime protocols and which serves to undermine Mr Mitrev's public position that there was no basis to impugn the legitimacy of payments which had been channelled to him through the Core Laundromat Companies).
24.3.6 Had the Claimant referred her husband's business activities in Azerbaijan to UNESCO as an actual or possible conflict of interest as she was obliged to do, these matters would, or should, have been the subject of a full investigation.
24.3.7 Despite promising to do so, UNESCO's media office has failed (it is inferred on the instructions of the Claimant) to answer the Defendant's reasonable requests for clarification as to which of the Claimant's visits to Azerbaijan (including those referred to under Paragraph 15 above) were undertaken with Mr Mitrev also in attendance.
i) the particulars of truth in this section are in places "fundamentally contradictory" (Ground 1(B)(b)(i): Appendix B);
ii) paragraph 22.3 is impermissible because it is relied upon as a primary fact in support of the inference in paragraph 24.3 because the former is pleaded as a matter of reasonable suspicion (Ground (1)(B)(b)(iii): Appendix B);
iii) paragraphs 13 – 15.10, 16 – 17.4 and 23 are impermissible because they concern alleged payments made to the Claimant's husband and not to the Claimant herself in breach of the conduct rule (Ground (1)(C)(a)(2)(xx): Appendix B);
iv) it is "unclear" how paragraphs 24.3.1 – 24.3.7 support the Defendant's case that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the payments were made at the behest of individuals associated with the Azerbaijan government to the Claimant's knowledge and in order to solicit the favourable political, diplomatic and cultural influence which she could exert internationally on Azerbaijan's behalf (Ground (1)(C)(a)(2)(xxi));
v) it is "unclear" how references in paragraphs 26.1 and 27.2 to property purchases in 2011 are relevant given the payments are said to have been made in 2012 (Ground (1)(C)(a)(2)(xxii));
vi) paragraph 24.3.5 impermissibly relies on subjective third-party concerns (Ground (1)(D)); and
vii) paragraphs 22.3.6, 24.3.6 and 24.3.7 post-date publication of the print article (Ground (1)(F)).
i) that the Defendant case on the truth of meaning (4) is advanced on an alternative basis. In both instances, he submits, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the monies were tainted, and the Claimant knew that they were. In the first, on the basis of a conflict of interest for the Claimant in her role as Director General of UNESCO by her family's receipt of such monies. In the second, by the suspected improper and gratuitous nature of the payments. And in both cases by Claimant's non-disclosure to UNESCO. As UNESCO Director General, the Claimant had to keep herself fully informed about her husband's business activities (particularly where Azerbaijan was concerned) and, he contends, her husband had a corresponding obligation to keep the Claimant informed about the same.
ii) This objection misunderstands the Defendant's case. The Defendant relies on the facts and matters pleaded under paragraph 22.3 (all of which are primary facts in their own right and which equally sustain the suspicion regarding the Claimant's knowledge of the actual nature and provenance of the payments identified in paragraph 24.3), not the consequential suspicion (which relates to the alternative case).
iii) The Defendant's case should be read as a whole. The facts relied upon against Mr Mitrev as the individual to whom the payments were made provide strong circumstantial evidence in support of the Defendant's case that there are grounds to suspect that the Claimant knew that the monies were tainted.
iv) The relevance of paragraphs 24.3.1 – 24.3.7 is:
a) The fact that the Core Laundromat Companies were used on other occasions by the Azerbaijan Government as a "slush fund", pursuant to which it arranged for substantial payments to be made to remunerate individuals who were publicly and politically supportive of the Azerbaijan regime's interests (paragraph 24.3.1) legitimately sustains the suspicion that payments made to Mr Mitrev (and, through him, to the Claimant) through the same companies served an identical purpose.
b) The public support the Claimant has offered to Azerbaijan generally, and the Aliyev family in particular (paragraph 24.3.3) is consistent with the suspicion that she is purposefully acting in pursuit of the regime's agenda (rather than in response to UNESCO's core values and interests).
c) The Claimant's alleged lack of candour in disclosing her husband's connections to the Azerbaijan regime to UNESCO as a conflict of interest (paragraph 24.3.6) and instructing UNESCO's media office not to respond to reasonable requests for clarification about her husband's presence on UNESCO trips to Azerbaijan (paragraph 24.3.7) is claimed to be symptomatic of a desire to prevent these matters being ventilated and properly investigated.
v) The Paris apartment was purchased very shortly after the date on which it is alleged the Danske Bank records indicate that Mr Mitrev received a commitment that he would be remunerated by Azerbaijan entities. Moreover, the fact that the Claimant and Mr Mitrev had already entered into a substantial financial commitment on a £1m apartment in Paris is said to be highly relevant context for the suspicions which attach to their ability to raise the capital necessary to fund further substantial property acquisitions between 2012 and 2014.
vi) The Defendant accepts that the bank's action and the subsequent re-routing of the payments via a Bulgarian bank, do not themselves prove those concerns to be valid. However, it is argued that very extensive primary facts are pleaded which are not said to be inadmissible and which provide grounds for suspecting that the payments were improper. In such circumstances, it is submitted that the point is admissible as relevant context. Paragraph 24.3.5 is sought to be defended on the further ground that the reason given by the bank to Mr Mitrev for the non-payment was material having regard to his account for the payments and his asserted indifference, when pressed, to the fact that those payments had been channelled through unconnected third-party companies which the Defendant contends provides grounds to suspect.
vii) The Defendant relies upon the Claimant's complained about the ongoing publication of article online.
"In the circumstances, the Defendant will contend that there are reasonable grounds instead to suspect that:
24.1 Mr Mitrev did not in fact undertake consultancy work for Avuar-Co in respect of the Kura-Aras programme and that his public explanation to the contrary at Paragraph 21 above was an attempt to evade legitimate enquiries which have been raised about the true provenance and propriety of those payments.
24.2 In the circumstances, there was no proper commercial explanation for the payments to be routed from Azerbaijan through the Core Laundromat Companies.
24.3 The said payments were made on behalf and/or at the behest of the individuals associated with Azerbaijan Government to Mr Mitrev in light of his familial proximity to the Claimant's knowledge and in order to solicit the favourable political, diplomatic and cultural influence which the Claimant could exert internationally on Azerbaijan's behalf as a consequence of her visible public profile and platform as UNESCO Director-General."
(3) The Claimant's support for controversial regimes and projects which are at odds with UNESCO's core values
(4) The public criticisms of the Claimant's governance and transparency contained in the Department for International Development's Multilateral Development Review
Application to Amend the Defence
3.2A On 30 January 2018, the Online Article was further amended:
3.2A.1 The following paragraph was removed:
'Among the organisation's controversial handouts – such as sending funds to kelptocratic African rulers – it came in for heavy criticism in 2010 for announcing an international prize in the name of Equatorial Guinea' brutal dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who encourages rumours that he eats the flesh of his enemies.'
3.2A.2 The following paragraph was reinstated in its place:
'Mrs Bokova courted controversy with her support for Azerbaijan, whose dictatorial regime has tortured prisoners, rigged elections and thrown political opponents in jail.'
Appendix A – referred to in paragraph 19 of the judgment
Meaning found by Dingemans J
(see paragraph 13 of the judgment)
Amended Lucas-Box meaning
(see paragraph 18 of the judgment)
1. there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant was guilty of fraud in relation to the appointment of Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores as her assistant director-general for strategic planning there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant was guilty of fraud (i.e. dishonest preferment) in the appointment of the under-qualified Ana Luisa Thompson-Flores to the post of UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for the Bureau of Strategic Planning 2. the Claimant made a dishonest false statement in her CV by claiming that she was Bulgaria's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 1997 the Claimant made dishonest false statements about her having been Bulgaria's Foreign Minister, when she had never held that office but had only been acting Minister and even then not for the period claimed in her curriculum vitae as published on UNESCO's website 3. the Claimant was party to making dishonest false statements about the number of her visits to Russia since becoming Director-General of UNESCO [no equivalent] 4. there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant has used tainted monies to purchase two Manhattan apartments and help her son pay off a £540,000 mortgage there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant has been in knowing receipt of tainted monies and has used those monies to purchase property and/or to help her son pay off a £540,000 mortgage 5. the Claimant was personally responsible as Director-General for bringing UNESCO into disrepute by naming an international prize after "Equatorial Guinea's brutal dictator Teodoro Obian Nguema, who encourages rumours that he eats the flesh of his enemies" [no equivalent] 6. [no equivalent] During her period as Director-General of UNESCO, the Claimant has personally supported a government, namely Azerbaijan, whose conduct is notorious and an affront to the core values which UNESCO was established to preserve and protect, and whose endorsement by the Claimant accordingly served to damage UNESCO's international credibility and to bring the organisation into disrepute
Appendix 2 – Schedule to the Application Notice – referred to in paragraph 47 of the judgment
Further details of Ground 1 (A)
(a) Lucas-Box meaning 6(1) is not capable of proving the truth of the actual meaning and/or defamatory sting of the words complained of and it is not capable of establishing the defence pursuant to s.2(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 because on its own reasonably suspected dishonest preferment does not constitute reasonably suspected fraud in the absence of any reasonably suspected intended personal gain or advantage thereby for the Claimant (which is not pleaded by the Defendant).
(b) Lucas-Box meaning 6(4) is not capable of proving the actual meaning and/or defamatory sting of the words complained of and it is not capable of establishing the defence pursuant to s.2(1) of the Defamation Act 2013, because it is not the actual meaning found by the Judge nor is it capable of proving the defamatory sting.
Further details of Ground 1 (B)
(a) The Defendant's pleaded case in paragraphs 11-12.5 as summarised at paragraph 12.5 is not capable of proving the truth of the actual meaning (see Judgment para 53(1) and 54) and/or defamatory sting and is not capable of establishing the defence pursuant to s.2(1) Defamation Act 2013, in relation to the appointment of Ms Thompson-Flores.
(i) In particular in this connection, it fails to specify adequately or at all the reasonably suspected fraudulent conduct by the Claimant in relation to the preferment of Ms Thompson-Flores (a matter relied upon also in relation to Ground 1 (C)).
(ii) Further, in any event, it goes to support a Lucas-Box meaning 6(1) which is itself not capable of proving the truth of the actual meaning and/or defamatory sting and establishing that statutory defence, because on its own reasonably suspected dishonest preferment does not constitute reasonably suspected fraud in the absence of any reasonably suspected intended personal gain or advantage thereby for the Claimant (which is not pleaded by the Defendant).
(b) The Defendant's pleaded case in paragraphs 13-27.3.2 taken as a whole and as set out specifically at 24.3 is not capable of proving the truth of the actual meaning (see Judgment para 53(4)) and/or defamatory sting and is not capable of establishing the defence pursuant to s.2(1) Defamation Act 2013, in relation to suspected receipt of tainted monies.
(i) In particular in this connection, 24.3 relies upon 22.3 which has as its factual premise that the Claimant's husband did carry out the consultancy work in Azerbaijan and received payment for that work from Azerbaijan, as claimed by him. This fundamentally contradicts the Defendant's case in paragraph 24 (and paragraph 23) that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that he did not undertake that work at all and that the payments were for the corrupt purpose set out in 24.3, and so 22.3 cannot support 24.3 or the actual meaning/sting.
(ii) Further, in any event, the matters pleaded at 22.3 are not capable of establishing the Defendant's case set out at 24.3 or the actual meaning/sting.
(iii) Further, 22.3 is relied upon as a primary fact in support of the inference in 24.3 but is itself pleaded merely as a matter of reasonable suspicion thereby offending the legal principle that this is not permissible.
(iv) Further, the matters pleaded in support of 24.3 at 24.3.1 – 24.3.7 are not capable of establishing that case or the actual meaning/sting.
(v) Further, none of the other paragraphs in 13-27.3.2 is capable of proving the truth of the actual meaning and/or defamatory sting whether by reference to any conduct on the Claimant's part giving rise to reasonable suspicion or at all.
(c) The Defendant's pleaded case in paragraphs 31-32.4 is not capable of proving the truth of the actual meaning (see Judgment paras 53 and 54 generally and, in particular, 53(5)) and/or defamatory sting of the words complained of and is not capable of establishing the defence pursuant to s.2(1) Defamation Act 2013, since it goes to support Lucas- Box meaning 6(4) which is itself not capable of proving the truth of the same and of establishing that statutory defence.
Further details of Ground 1 (C)
(a) (1) Without prejudice to (a)-(b) relating to Ground 1 (B) above, in any event the Defendant's pleaded case in paragraphs 11-12.5 (reasonably suspected fraud in relation to the Thompson-Flores appointment) and 13-27.3.2 (reasonably suspected receipt of tainted monies) does not plead a sufficiently clear and coherent relevant case against the Claimant. This is so not least because of the confusion of facts on which the inference of reasonably suspected misconduct on the part of the Claimant is to be drawn ("the primary facts") and the reasonably suspected misconduct itself, a matter of great significance in that the primary facts need to be actually established as a matter of legal principle (see eg. Miller -v- Associated Newspapers  EWCA Civ 39 at para 22) and cannot themselves be merely matters of reasonable suspicion.
(2) Further, without prejudice to the generality of that contention by reference to those paragraphs taken as a whole, and taking into account the legal principle referred to in Miller mentioned immediately above at (1), in this connection the Claimant also refers to the following specific paragraphs which are unclear as stated in the sub-paragraphs below, and also unclear as to how and/or on what basis of fact they support the Defendant's case of reasonably suspected misconduct against the Claimant :
(i) It is unclear how 11.2.1 supports the Defendant's case of reasonably suspected fraud against the Claimant, given that the Defendant accepts that the Claimant was not aware of the misrepresentation pleaded at 11.5-11.5.3 at the time when she appointed Ms Thompson-Flores to the DHR post, and indeed does not even plead reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant was aware of this when she appointed Ms Thompson-Flores to the BSP post (see the speculative alternative hypotheses pleaded at 12.3.2).
(ii) It is unclear whether the second sentence of 11.2.4 is intended to allege that the Claimant appointed Ms Thompson-Flores to the acting DHR post deliberately for that purpose or is reasonably to be suspected of this.
(iii) It is unclear whether the words in brackets in the first sentence of 11.3 are intended to allege that the delay was engineered by the Claimant for that purpose or the Claimant is reasonably to be suspected of doing this.
(iv) As regards 11.3.1 the Defendant is unable to state which changes to the draft Vacancy Notice were allegedly made by Ms Thompson-Flores (see Defendant's Response dated 12 January 2018 to the Claimant's Request for Further Information) despite pleading that she did make various changes. Further, it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that the Claimant is reasonably to be suspected of knowing that Ms Thompson-Flores made these (unknown by the Defendant) changes or, if it be its case, that she actually knew this.
(v) As regards 11.3.2 it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that the Claimant is reasonably to be suspected of approving the further amendment set out there or of causing or contributing to it, or, if it be its case, that she actually did so.
(vi) Further as regards 11.3.2 it is unclear how it supports the Defendant's case of fraud against the Claimant given that the Defendant accepts that the Claimant was not aware at the time of Ms Thompson-Flores' misrepresentation as to her educational qualifications.
(vii) As regards 11.3.3 it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that the Claimant is to be reasonably suspected of having caused or contributed to or approved the decision not to record the changes and their sequence nor to document the change in educational criteria in any formal policy and/or was aware of this or, if it be its case, actually did these things and had that knowledge.
(viii) As regards 11.4 it is unclear how the matters in this paragraph support the case of reasonably suspected dishonest preferment of the under-qualified Ms Thompson-Flores by the Claimant.
(ix) It is unclear how 11.5-11.5.3 supports the case against the Claimant of reasonably suspected fraud, given that the Defendant accepts that the Claimant was unaware of the misrepresentation at this time.
(x) As regards the last sentence of 11.5.3, the Claimant could not have announced in an Ivory Note the appointment of Ms Thompson-Flores as deputy DHR in 2008 since the Claimant was not Director General of UNESCO until November 2009.
(xi) As regards 12.2 it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that the Claimant is to be reasonably suspected of having caused or contributed to or approved the decision not to document the change to standard recruitment criteria in any formal policy and/or was aware of this or, if it be its case, actually did these things and had that knowledge.
(xii) Further as regards 12.2 it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that the failure of the Claimant to consult is to be reasonably suspected of being deliberate on her part or, if it be its case, was deliberate on her part.
(xiii) As regards the third sentence of 12.2.1 it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that the Claimant is reasonably to be suspected of having decided to permit or having approved the decision to permit Ms Thompson-Flores to proceed with her BSP application despite the late submission of the motivation letter or, if it be its case, that she actually decided or approved this.
(xiv) As regards 12.2.2 it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that the Claimant is reasonably to be suspected of having appointed Ms Thompson-Flores to the BSP post not believing that she was qualified for the post and/or aware that she did not fulfil the two requirements pleaded there or, if it be its case, that she actually did not believe this and/or had that knowledge.
(xv) As regards 12.2.3 it is unclear whether the Defendant is alleging that that the Claimant was not entitled (and what is the objective factual basis for so asserting, rather than the pleaded expression of opinion) to appoint Ms Thompson-Flores in the circumstances and that the Claimant knew this or is reasonably to be suspected of knowing this.
(xvi) As regards 12.3.3 it unclear how the matters pleaded there support the Defendant's case of reasonably suspected fraud against the Claimant in relation to the BSP appointment. In this connection, 12.3.3(c) refers again to Ms Thompson-Flores' role in drafting the DHR and BSP Vacancy Notices, a role which the Defendant has stated (in its Response dated 12 January 2018 to the Claimant's Request for Further information) it is unable to specify. Moreover, in relation to the BSP post the Defendant does not even allege that Ms Thompson-Flores made any changes herself.
(xvii) It is unclear how the matters pleaded in 12.4-12.4.4 support the Defendant's case of reasonably suspected fraud against the claimant in relation to the BSP appointment. Moreover, the summary at 12.4.4 of the contention based on these matters does not make any reference to those matters going to support such a case; rather, it is pleaded that they go to support other criticisms of the Claimant.
(xviii) As regards 12.4.3(c) it is unclear whether the Defendant is contending that the Claimant was not entitled to decline to disclose the request from the member state and the legal advice.
(xix) As regards 12.5.1 and 12.5.2, it is unclear precisely what conduct is intended to be covered by the word "enabling" in these paragraphs (a lack of clarity bedevilling the whole of the Defendant's case in regard to Lucas-Box meaning 6(1)).
(xx) It is unclear how paragraphs 13-15.10, 16-17.4 and 23 support the Defendant's case against the Claimant as set out at 24.3 (reasonably suspected knowledge of payments to her husband for the corrupt purpose set out there).
(xxi) It is unclear how paragraphs 24.3.1-24.3.7, although pleaded as relied upon to support the Defendant's case set out at 24.3, support the Defendant's case against the Claimant.
(xxii) It is unclear what is the relevance to the Defendant's case of the references at paragraphs 26.1 and 27.2.1 to a purchase in 2011, given that the expenditure and the relevant payments are pleaded at 25 and 27 as having been made from 2012, a year later.
Further details of Ground 1 (G)
(a) Paragraph 12.3.2 (a) appears to relate to the Claimant's appointment of Ms Thompson-Flores to the Venice position (see 12.3.3 (b)) rather than to the appointment in question i.e. to the BSP post in relation to which reasonably suspected fraud is alleged against the Claimant.
(b) Lucas-Box meaning 6(4) and paragraphs 31-32.4 are not confined as they ought to be to matters strictly necessary for a fair determination of the dispute between the parties and/or ought not to be permitted to be relied upon in support of the Defendant's defence of Truth pursuant to s.2(1) Defamation Act 2013 because:
(i) Lucas-Box meaning 6(4) and paragraphs 31.32.4 relate to a separate and distinct specific imputation relating to Azerbaijan which is not an actual meaning found by the Judge or ever complained of by the Claimant, the specific meaning (complained of by the Claimant) in the online article found by the Judge and accepted by the Defendant relating specifically to the Claimant's personal responsibility as Director-General for bringing UNESCO into disrepute by naming an international prize after "Equatorial Guinea's brutal dictator...who encourages rumours that he eats the flesh of his enemies" (the Judge not finding and the Defendant not contending for any wider or more general imputation than this specific imputation concerning the naming of the prize);
(ii) these paragraphs introduce matters (including even the Claimant's alleged failure to condemn the destruction of important buildings there) relating to Azerbaijan which were not referred to in the online article, the matter referred to in that article being a specific act ie the alleged appointment of the Azerbaijan First Lady by the Claimant. This has been shown to be false and accepted by the Defendant to be false and was not part of the Claimant's original pleaded claim, because it was deleted by the Defendant from the online article before the issue of the Claim Form;
(iii) Lucas-Box meaning 6(4) and paragraphs 31-32.4 do not satisfy the requirements of the principles enunciated in Polly Peck (Holdings) -v- Trelford  1 QB 1000 or Rothschild -v- Associated Newspapers  EWCA Civ 197 and/or they do not satisfy the principle in Rothschild that the sting of the matters relied upon must in essence be as sharp as the published unproved defamatory statement and/or they are not permissible under any other principle of law;
(iv) in addition to argument on the law (which will be developed in the Claimant's Outline Submissions for the hearing and at the hearing) the Claimant will also rely upon case management grounds in this regard ie that consideration of Lucas-Box meaning 6(4) and paragraphs 31-32.4 will tend to divert and unduly prolong the trial.