The Solomon Star has been given until today to file its defence in relation to the defamation suit taken up by the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.
In his ruling yesterday as to whether this paper will be given an extension of time to file its defence, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer said the disadvantage to the third defendant (Solomon Star) if not allowed to file the defence late is that it will be denied its opportunity to be heard in court as to a possible defence to the claim.
“I have the opportunity to peruse the proposed defence to be filed and which does appear to show on the face of the record an arguable case in defence, that is merely reporting a letter received from the Claimant’s lawyer not to publish material already posted in the first defendant (Ben Afuga Chief Executive Officer of Forum Solomon Islands Internal) and second defendant’s (Forum Solomon Islands International) website and referred to in the letter.
Lawyer representing the Prime Minister had objected to the application made by the lawyer of this paper for an extension of time and applied for a default judgment on the case.
But the chief justice yesterday granted the extension of time after considering this paper’s reasons to justify the delay in filing its defence.
Sir Albert also ordered that the costs of the claimant and first and second defendants, to be borne by the third defendant (Solomon Star).
The defamation suit is in relation to allegations this paper published based on reports on popular facebook page FSII, of a sex scandal involving Prime Minister Lilo.
The Prime Minister however denied the allegation.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN