11 Aug 2022

Businessman and related company want to sue broadcaster CNN for alleged defamation, Court told

Businessman and related company want to sue broadcaster CNN for alleged defamation, Court told

Businessman Declan Ganley and a telecommunications company he is both chairman and CEO of claimed before the High Court that they were "maliciously" defamed by broadcaster CNN. 

Mr Justice Tony O'Connor heard in an ex-parte hearing on Monday that Mr Ganley and his company Rivada Networks claim they were defamed in the publication of a broadcast by Cable Network News on October 20th 2020 last.

It is claimed that the article arose after the company had been seeking to enter into a contract with the US Government to build a 5G telecommunications network by leasing the US Department of Defence's mid-band spectrum.

The company made a proposal after the US Department of Defence made a competitive and open request for information relating to the project.

It is alleged that the publication wrongly meant that Mr Ganley and Rivada had initiated a corrupt process to obtain the contract.

Mr Ganley and the company say they are "completely innocent" of such a claim, and say the contents of the publication are "entirely unfounded", are "grossly defamatory of them, and have caused them reputational damage and loss.

They also claim that the publication was published with malicious intent, in pursuit of a political and commercial agenda of CNN's owners AT&T.

CNN, it is claimed have declined to apologise or offer amends, or remove the publication from its website.

As a result of the publication the businessman and Rivada Networks Limited, which has its European head office at Tuam, Co Galway and is incorporated in Virginia in the United States have brought an action where they seek damages and a correction order.

The businessman and the company, represented by Mark Harty SC, Allanah McGurk Bl instructed by Paul Tweed, intended proceedings are against Cable News Network Inc, which has registered offices at Atlanta in the US state of Georgia. 

Proceedings are also being brought against two other CNN-related entities, Cable News International Ltd, and Turner Broadcasting System Europe Ltd, which have addresses at Old Street, London in the UK. 

The action has been brought before the Irish courts, as it is claimed publication occurred in Ireland. It is claimed that the channel and its website can be accessed by vast numbers of people throughout Ireland.

It is also alleged that the CNN broadcast led to several other republications in Ireland and elsewhere further exacerbating the damage the plaintiffs say they have suffered.

As part of their proceedings the applicants sought permission to service notice of their action on the proposed defendants, which are located outside of the jurisdiction.

The matter was mentioned before Mr Justice O'Connor, who after hearing submissions from counsel granted the applicants' legal team permission to serve the proceedings against the intended defendants in the UK and the US.

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