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Judge begins preparing Craig judgement

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017
Colin Craig © Phil Walter/Getty Images Colin Craig

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and blogger Cameron Slater have both had their say and now a High Court judge will begin preparing his judgement in the pair's high-profile defamation battle.

Justice Kit Toogood said it would be "some time" before he could deliver his judgement after closing arguments wrapped up in Auckland on Thursday.

Mr Craig is suing Mr Slater for comments he made on radio and for a series of posts on his Whaleoil blog in 2015.

He told the court the blogger "falsely" claimed he sexually harassed his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

He also said Mr Slater "recklessly" and "falsely" alleged he put financial pressure on Ms MacGregor to sleep with him, paid her a large, six-figure sum of hush money and sexually harassed at least one other woman.

These allegations contributed to the "media firestorm" that engulfed him after he stood down as leader of the Conservative Party in 2015 and ruined any chance he had of reviving his political career, he said.

Mr Slater is counter-suing Mr Craig for statements made in a press conference and a pamphlet sent to 1.6 million Kiwi homes, titled "Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas".

He says Mr Craig falsely claimed he deliberately published false allegations as a way of attacking the former politician.

Mr Slater also says Mr Craig falsely claimed he was part of a team working together to conduct a political hit job on Mr Craig aimed at ousting him from the Conservative Party.

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