Craig v Slater – witness revelations

The new witness has been allowed to give evidence in Craig v Slater – it is a lawyer who was acting for Craig on a separate matter, but who was also a friend of Slater’s.

Slater used information given to him in confidence by the lawyer to attack Craig, based on incorrect assumptions.

Stuff: Colin Craig’s lawyer was source for Cameron Slater

Cameron Slater used a lawyer acting for Colin Craig as a source for publishing allegations Craig was in an improper relationship with more than one woman.

Madeleine Flannagan was an Auckland lawyer working on an application by Craig and his wife to adopt a child in 2015.

She had also been friends with Cameron Slater for around 11 years.

Flannagan said she became concerned about allegations in the media, driven by Slater, that Craig had sexually harassed his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor. She was worried about how it would affect the Craigs’ adoption application.

In June 2015, Flannagan phoned Slater asking him what other information he had, saying she could not disclose who her client was and the conversation must remain confidential.

However, Slater inferred from the phone call that Flannagan was a lawyer acting on behalf of a victim of Craig’s, and then used her as the source for allegations he published on Whaleoil that Craig had a “second victim”.

Slater’s lawyer Brian Henry argued Craig was using Flanagan to find out how much information Slater had.

“Do you agree that Mr Craig was using you to try and find out what Mr Slater knew?” he asked.

“Well it was my idea to ring Cameron,” Flannagan said. “I don’t think Mr Craig even knew I had that relationship.”

Subsequently both parties tried to rope her into defamation proceedings.

When Slater was recalled to the witness box by Henry, he said he found it difficult to describe his current relationship with Flannagan.

“I’m just lost for words at the betrayal of someone I considered a friend.

“If I knew she was a lawyer for Mr Craig I would have never spoken to her. This entire allegation would never have come out but for the deception placed upon me.”

Justice Kit Toogood asked Slater: “You say you felt betrayed, but did you not betray her express injunction that this [conversation] cannot go anywhere else?”

“I did dance around on that but I guess technically I did,” Slater said.

There could be a bit more dancing around of different kinds now this has come out.

Other reports:

RNZ:  Craig’s lawyer used as source for Whale Oil blog, court told

NZ Herald: Colin Craig’s lawyer and friend of Cameron Slater gives evidence

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27 Comments

  1. Loki

     /  May 22, 2017

    Slater is doomed.
    He has hinted/screamed/written that their was more than person accusing Craig of sexual harassment.
    Clearly there wasn’t.
    That. Is. Defamation.
    No amount of spin from him, his weird mate or the Stockholm syndrome suffering wife is going to wash the doom out of this one.

  2. David Garrett

     /  May 22, 2017

    Loki: Where did you get your law degree mate? If you allege I am a paedophile with many victims, and I am able to establish that I only have one, I have NOT established a defence to the highly defamatory claim that I am a paedo…well, that’s what they taught me…Might be different where you went to school…

    • Conspiratoor

       /  May 22, 2017

      DG, so it’s not only my good friend cameron who has been removed from loki’s christmas card list?

  3. Notapsedoname

     /  May 22, 2017

    Pete,

    This is a bombshell. In the first instance it seems to give a clue as to why this is so personal for Craig. If he had his application to adopt turned down (I’m not sure if he has or not) then this could be a deeply personal fight. Up til now media (and blog) commentary has been that his is about the conservative party failing, but it always seemed odd that the legal action was continuing even after he separated from the conservative party.

    But the name of Flannagan shows how small NZ is, that name has come up before – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10813552 It seems that a Debbie Brown, and Flanagan were friends. I’m struggling to find my copy of judgement the herald quotes from, but this entire situation now starts to stink (more than it did).

    • Pickled Possum

       /  May 22, 2017

      Madeleine Brown, Madeleine Flannagan and their former friend
      Jacqueline Sperling, with Slater formed a tight little group.
      Until their egos got in the way,
      then it was double cross and vengeful betrayal.
      They sacrificed their friendships for petty ‘I’m on top’ attitudes.

      Affairs will get you into trouble one way or the other. 😉

      I feel for all the children of these stupid people.
      Children who Will be bullied at school, uni and work,
      with their parents just wanting to have their say.
      SAD LOT.

      • Pickled Possum

         /  May 22, 2017

        whoops that’s Debbie Brown

  4. Tipene

     /  May 22, 2017

    And, true to form, Slater now goes feral on someone who did nothing wrong – except to upset Slater:

    https://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2017/05/craig-v-slater-media-links/

    • Park

       /  May 22, 2017

      Lol….look, a “smear campaign” how unusual!

    • Mungo Jerry

       /  May 22, 2017

      She’s your lawyer too, you got mentioned in court today.

  5. The most disturbing aspect of these revelations is finding out Madeline Flanagan was friends with Slater. I honestly credited her with better judgment than that.

    But seriously, I don’t know that this is a big deal. While it proves libel, it simultaneously provides Slater with an honest opinion defence, since Flanagan basically allowed Slater to think she was representing someone acting *against* Craig. And even if that defence fails, so what? It’s a tiny part of the allegations, which, if successfully defended on the basis of truth, would make substantial damage awards for this one aspect unlikely. Craig doesn’t win just by knocking down one pin while all the others stay standing.

    The only person who is really buggered by this is Flanagan, who is bound to have the Law Society kicking the crap out of her, as well as being thrown under the bus by Craig and making an enemy of Slater.

    • Tipene

       /  May 22, 2017

      For honest opinion to get across the line, that which is being believed must be based on provable facts set out or referred to in the story being published.

      There were no provable facts upon which to base the belief.

      One pin falling can take all the other pins with it.

      Game over.

      • David Garrett

         /  May 22, 2017

        Tipene: Don’t give up your day job mate…there is a whole heap of stuff in the public record making old Colon look like a lascivious harassing creep…

        • Tipene

           /  May 22, 2017

          @ David: and we all just KNOW, don’t we David, that if anything is “in the public arena”, then it just MUST be all there is to the story – how odd for you of all people to claim such a premise, when this was not the case when your untimely and unfortunate demise was afoot.

      • Like I say, the defence may fail. But if it does, all you have is the notion of other victims failing. As Davd Garrett says, calling someone a paedophile is still defensible if you only molest one child instead of five. So if Craig gets called a sex pest, you don’t need Flanagan’s speculated client for that. You just need Rachel MacGregor.

        Far from game over, it’s game still very much on. The allegation that Craig had other victims, while appearing libelous at this juncture, cannot result in a substantial damage award if the defence of truth on other matters (ie. MacGregor) ensures Craig has no reputation and good name left to defend.

    • David Garrett

       /  May 22, 2017

      BlairM: As someone who has been in the Law Society’s sights I feel sympathy for this woman…this whole thing does get more and more incestuous by the day…(Disclaimer: Colin Craig and I have a wager…if he recovers “hundreds of thousands” in damages from Slater I have to take him to a slap up boozy lunch at a restaurant of his choice…if he doesn’t, he takes me…and I have a taste for vintage French champers…)

    • Tipene

       /  May 22, 2017

      The Law Society will have two levels of interest in this matter:

      1/ Fuck-all.

      2/ See “1”

      • Revel

         /  May 23, 2017

        Agreed, Katz even ruled Jordan Williams breached an undertaking to another lawyer and to McGregor, who was in effect his client. I don’t see any complaint against him and that was of greater scale of deceit than this with Flannagan.

      • Well no shit, generally someone has to complain. I imagine that someone will be Cameron Slater. And then the Law Society will be obliged to be interested. Now stop trying to be such a fucking smartarse.

  6. Loki

     /  May 22, 2017

    Yup, threw some red meat to his legion of simple minded donors. And in they go.
    Surprised she is described as a friend.
    Wasn’t she involved in the case that saw Slater outed as a cheating weasel with the Brown girl???

    • Mungo Jerry

       /  May 22, 2017

      Time to give Todd a call i think.

  7. Park

     /  May 22, 2017

    WO has been publishing articles both politically motivated and non-politically motivated smearing individuals and organisations “unchecked” and by admission “for payment” for far too long. It’s well overdue for an “overhaul” of those participating in the practice….and I’d love to see the persons paying the money held accountable as well!

    • Conspiratoor

       /  May 22, 2017

      ‘persons paying the money held accountable’. Are you suggesting Slater has been paid solely for the purpose of doing a hit job. Sounds interesting, feel free to elaborate

  8. David Garrett

     /  May 22, 2017

    Putting words “in quotes” always makes a comment “more effective”…

    It is entirely irrelevant in this context whether Slater was paid or not…He stands or falls by what he wrote and published…

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 22, 2017

    Frankly, this lot deserve each other. Judge must feel he is wasting time on time-wasters.

  10. So. Williams releases confidential info. Slater releases confidential info. Craig releases confidential info. Dirty, despicable indeed!

  11. Steve

     /  May 23, 2017

    The Judge interrogates Slater
    “Toogood verses No good”