12 Sep 2014

Slater expected to reveal sources: judge

8:41 pm on 12 September 2014

A judge has ruled that while he considers blogger Cameron Slater to be a journalist and his blog a news medium, he is expected to reveal his sources in a defamation case.

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

Blogger Cameron Slater. Photo: Supplied

Mr Slater is being sued by a businessman, Matthew Blomfield, for defamation over blog post on his Whale Oil site in 2012.

Justice Asher released his decision this afternoon, saying there is a public interest in the blogger disclosing his sources. He said this is not a whistleblower case in which sources needed to be protected.

The judge described Mr Slater's blog posts in relation to Mr Blomfield as extreme and vindictive, and having the hallmarks of a private feud.

Justice Asher said the sources Mr Slater used came from a hard-drive and other documents that appear to have been obtained illegally. He ordered Mr Slater to pay Mr Blomfield's costs for the hearing.

Matthew Blomfield told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme tonight he believes Mr Slater will leave out a lot of information and will not give up the sources.

"Currently, I've got an application for contempt of court sitting before the court that's currently adjourned and that relates to Cameron not abiding by court orders. So I'll be asking the court to recall that contempt application and we'll be asking for them to enforce the orders."