Harlequin’s preemptive strike: threatens world’s news media with lawsuit
Barbados Free Press WILL NOT BE CENSORED: Prints Harlequin’s Threat and HarleCON.net’s reply
Caribbean360.com publicizes HarleCON.net website after threat. Slips website name into news story!
Harlequin says “fraudster” Padraig O’Halloran behind HarleCON.net website
WE PRINT IT ALL
First, from Harlequin Hotels and Resorts…
STATEMENT FROM HARLEQUIN HOTELS AND RESORTS
A new website has emerged which is a personal and malicious attack on Harlequin. This is just the latest in a series of defamatory statements made against Harlequin and the Ames Family personally.
Like all previous stories that have been posted on the internet, the bloggers have attempted to hide their true identity – this time they hide behind a website in Singapore. Their cowardly attempt at anonymity has failed. The person behind these statements is Padraig O’Halloran.
Mr O’Halloran is a fraudster whose assets were frozen by the courts last year in the Caribbean and Ireland after we learned about his fraudulent misappropriation of funds.
There have been a number of Court hearings in the last year, which have resulted in various adverse findings against Mr O’Halloran – the latest of which being only last week in the Barbados High Court which also ordered O’HaIloran to pay all the costs.
Harlequin has many witnesses who attest to the fact that Mr O’Halloran and his associates have engaged in a systematic fraud with a value in excess of US$13.5m. One of the witnesses, who was previously employed by Mr O’Ha|loran, recounts two occasions when O’Halloran admitted fraud and theft to him.
O’Ha|loran knows that he cannot defend the cases which are pending against him in the courts. That is why he is using this cowardly means of seeking to further damage the victims of his frauds by anonymously using the internet. This is a well known tactic for people like him.
The truth will ultimately emerge in the course of the trials of the fraud actions and the defamation proceedings but, save for stating categorically that there is no truth in the malicious gossip which Mr O’Halloran is trying to spread on this website and elsewhere, neither Harlequin nor the Ames Family will descend to trial by media.
Any person who republishes or repeats any of the defamatory statements posted by Mr O’Halloran will be identified and added as a defendant to the defamation proceedings.
8th November 2011 (PDF available directly from Harlequin)
HarleCON.net replies to the above:
The Real facts behind Harlequin’s response on the Barbados Free Press to the Harlecon Site
Harlequin Hotels & Resorts released a statement on Barbados Free Press; We reported in a Post on the 14th of November that Simon Terry had been contacting agents and others to allay their fears on the contents of our site, and sure enough their Statement was posted on Barbados Free Press the following day 15th of November (and Harlequin claim that we are indulging in gossip and defamation) . We have examined the contents of this release and now wish to bring your attention the following;
Harlequin claim that the statements on the Website are defamatory, below is an explanation as to what is classed as defamatory.
An actionable defamatory statement has three ingredients:
it must be published,
it must refer to the complainant and
it must be false.
Only a false statement is actionable. But defamation differs from other torts in that a statement will be presumed to be defamatory until proved otherwise.
If a defendant wishes to plead justification as a defense, he has to prove the truth of the statement. (Which we will have no problem in doing; the bulk of the information on this site comes from Harlequin themselves)
It is not up to the complainant to prove that the original statement was false. (This is why Ames has been successful in taking actions against the Singing Pig and the Observer Newspaper, They could not provide sufficient evidence to substantiate their claims. )
If the defendant can prove the substantial truth of the statement, that is an end of the matter.
No matter how old the allegation or how obscure or how intrusive of a person’s privacy;
A complainant is not entitled to have his good name vindicated in relation to publication of a true statement.
Harlequin in their latest News Letter have stated the following;
“We are currently making preparations to launch a social networking account created especially for investors, which will compliment these emailed updates by sharing the headlines before they appear in the more detailed newsletter format, plus other relevant news”
It appears that the Statement from Harlequin was circulated to various interested parties via their social network account.
It appears that the statement from Harlequin Hotels and Resorts was created on the 8th of November 8 days ago; we to date have received no communication from any lawyers representing Harlequin alleging defamation, slander or any other cause of action despite Harlequin claiming to know who we are.
The Harlequin Statement does not appear on any of Harlequin’s Websites and the Statement is unsigned unlike Ames’s previous Statement regarding the Singing Pig. We believe that the Statement was released inadvertantly, the statement was released through…
as opposed to…
(HarlequinHotelsandResorts.com) is the official Harlequin website. The document containing the statement is however genuine coming from the harlequinhotelandresorts.com server.
The information available on this site includes information available from but not limited to a number of sources including Public Sources, which are as a matter of public record, available through the Court Registrars offices of St. Vincent and the High Court in Ireland.
Harlequin refer to a Mr. O Halloran in their Statement, we have today discovered the following;
We have obtained the name of Mr. O’ Halloran’s lawyers, (Through Court Documents on Public Record in the Irish High Court) and we contacted them…
Caribbean360.com publicizes HarleCON website. Slips it into news article!
Harlequin Hotels restarts Barbados development amid fraud claims
“British-based developer Harlequin Hotels and Resorts has announced the re-start of its Barbados developments as it distances itself from fraud claims.”
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday November 17, 2011 – Harlequin Hotels & Resorts and Harlequin Developments announced today that it has resumed work at both The Merricks Resort Show Village and H Barbados boutique hotel thanks to the approval of an interim concessions package by the Barbados Ministry of Finance for The Merricks Resort Show Village.
This announcement comes as the British-based resort development firms seeks to quash fraud charges that it alleges have been made against it by former Harlequin managing director Padraig O’Halloran, who they in turn charge systematically defrauded the company during his tenure of US$13.5 million.
Harlequin alleges that O’Halloran is the one behind the spoof site “HarleCON”, which has leveled a number of fraud charges against the developers, their chairman David Ames, and his family. These fraud charges (which cannot be detailed here under legal threat from Harlequin) are being regularly updated on the website, which went live October 31, and is reportedly receiving around 1,000 hits each day.
The developers have defended their position in a public statement issued last week linking the website to the result of a judgment in the Barbados High Court against O’Halloran, which was handed down around the same time the website was set-up. Calling the website’s charges “malicious gossip”, Harlequin asserted that the truth would out during the court trials, which have been ongoing against O’Halloran since 2010 when he fled the region leaving a string of unfinished Harlequin projects in Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines.
In the meantime, Ames has been seeking to bolster confidence in Harlequin’s development capabilities, noting in the statement issued today that they had completed foundations and substructure of the Show Village, and plan to have the construction finished in March 2012.
Commenting on the developments Ames said, “It is fantastic to have both sites moving ahead quickly now. We are very committed to continued significant investment in Barbados and we are grateful that the interim concessions were finally approved by the Hon. Minister Sinckler and his team at the Department of Finance. This has allowed us to immediately resume works and will result in the creation of up to 200 construction jobs between both projects. Although Harlequin Developments have resumed work on both projects, we are still awaiting approval of the concessions package under the TDA for the luxury boutique hotel H Barbados.”
Garrett Ronan, Harlequin Hotels and Resorts Vice President of Hotel and Resort Development, commented, “We are working closely with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance to expedite these concessions and we are hopeful they can be issued this week. This would help us get H Barbados back on schedule for completion in November 2012, despite the recent delays. We are very appreciative of the recent approval granted by the Hon. Christopher Sinckler and his team…”
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