The claimant in question was VINO’s owner, Speaker Julian Willock, who had filed a court injunction but expressed discomfort with the now presiding judge, Justice Jack.
Willock’s news site alleged that Justice Jack effectively stole the case from Justice Gerhard Wallbank. But in a recent judgment, Justice Jack rubbished those claims and further revealed that Justice Wallbank‘s judicial assistant is Mr Willock‘s sister so “the judge (Wallbank) felt it was inappropriate for him to deal with the case”.
VINO’s article had also accused the judge of being friends with Governor John Rankin as well a the man heading the Commissioner of the Inquiry, Sir Gary Hickinbottom — both of whom are connect to the subject of Willock’s court injunction.
Justice Jack addressed that claim in his September 28 judgement.
“[I] put on record that I barely know either Sir Gary Hickinbottom or his Excellency the Governor. They are not friends of mine,” the judge said.
Furthermore, Justice Jack was keen to point out that Willock — who publicly accused him of interference and impropriety — declined to take the opportunity to request that Justice Jack recuse himself from the matter.
In the same judgment, Willock was ordered to pay all court costs associated with the now aborted matter. The court ruled that “Willock acted unreasonably in issuing the proceedings and then discontinuing them at the first indication that there might be procedural problems with the case”.
Speaker Willock could pay up to $121,000 from the defendant’s legal fees alone.