For Immediate Release
31 October 2014
Artists found by judge to have "maliciously lied" and to have "defamed" short-time Gallery owner Robert Cripps by "comparing" him to Adolf Hitler appeal Supreme Court Justice Emilios Kyrou's judgment.
Following an eight-day defamation trial in March 2014 the Supreme Court of Victoria made a release to the press to make public the judge's finding in this matter. The sensationalist press release was widely reported by the Herald Sun, Age, SMH, ABC and other news outlets in Australia. The Supreme Court release included claims made by the judge that the first defendant, artist Demetrios Vakras, had "compared Robert Cripps to Hitler", of making "deliberately false" evidence and that he told a "blatant lie" that Cripps agreed he "hated Jews". Similarly, Justice Kyrou contended that the second defendant, artist Lee-Anne Raymond, "deliberately lied" or "made up" evidence because it was "detailed, elaborate and adamant". The statements that appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria press-release and the findings made in the judgment delivered by Emilios Kyrou are being appealed by the artists. David Gilbertson QC is representing the artists' in their appeal as he did during the trial. The appeal notes that these findings are 'flawed' and that the "...primary judge palpably misused his advantage of observing the witnesses."
The appeal sets out to demonstrate that "The findings of the primary judge [Justice Kyrou] with respect to credit are flawed", that "There was no evidentiary basis for the findings..." and that evidence used to support these findings "...was not put in cross-examination." The appeal recommends that a new trial should be ordered.
Artists Demetrios Vakras and Lee-Anne Raymond, the appellants, request that the press carefully examine the substance of the case, trial, the implications of the outcome, and the appeal. We ask that journalists properly understand what it is they are reporting on, investigate the actual judgment itself, and report fairly on the matter. Most importantly, we expect that the media will report on the relevant facts without the sensationalism or distortions that surrounded the reportage of the initial finding.
The appeal will be heard Thursday 5th March 2015
In the Supreme Court of Victoria at Melbourne
In the Court of Appeal Civil Division
S APCI 2014 0098 and S APCI 2014 0099
Not for publication
Demetrios Vakras - XXXX-XXXX firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee-Anne Raymond - XXXX-XXXX email@example.com