Michel Leblanc has comments from Pierre-Antoine Tremblay justifying his court cases against blogger Chris Hand.
Tremblay’s side has some valid points:
- This isn’t a case of freedom of speech, it’s a libel case. Bloggers are just as responsible as media outlets as far as not using their right to free expression maliciously. Assuming Tremblay’s interpretation of the original post is true (that Hand accuses him of fraud and links to the mafia), those are certainly things that someone could make a legitimate libel case out of.
- Tremblay hasn’t been charged with any of the crimes he’s been associated with. His dispute with Loto-Quebec was settled out of court (the result is sealed), the paintings are still on display, and he hasn’t been accused of any direct links to Frank Martorana or other members of the mafia.
- He’s not a rich mogul looking to shut down a blog. His injunction is very specific, and doesn’t even prevent Hand from discussing Tremblay, just from repeating the allegations.
- Hand was clearly exacerbating the situation through other media until recently when his lawyer told him to clam up.
On the other hand, he doesn’t answer some of Chris Hand’s main criticisms:
- Why hasn’t Tremblay attempted to contact Hand about all this, instead of issuing threatening lawyer’s letters every couple of weeks?
- Why not have Hand simply correct the post, which he indicates he was perfectly willing to do, instead of bringing him to court?
- Why is the Loto-Quebec press release, which Tremblay says is false, still available to the public? How are we supposed to know that the paintings weren’t fake (if that is indeed the case) if the settlement is secret?
- Why is he suing for $25,000, and now trying to increase that to $60,000?
- Why not simply try to settle the case out of court, since both sides are poor and the only people to win here are the lawyers?
Either way, unless these two can start talking to each other like humans, a judge is going to decide which story is more sympathetic. And lots of money and time is going to be wasted on both sides.