12 Apr 2017

Hagamans to continue fighting Little in defamation case

6:44 pm on 12 April 2017

Scenic Hotel Group part-owner Lani Hagaman says she intends to continue to pursue Labour leader Andrew Little in court for defaming her husband.

Mrs Hagaman leaving court

Lani Hagaman leaves the High Court in Wellington (file photo) Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

On Monday, a jury in the High Court in Wellington could not reach a majority agreement on four of Earl Hagaman's claims of defamation.

The jury found a fifth claim was defamatory but could not agree on whether Mr Little had qualified privilege at the time he made it.

It found a sixth statement was not defamatory.

Mrs Hagaman said she had considered the outcome and sought further legal advice.

"Because the jury was unable to reach verdicts on several of Earl's claims, I am advised that the court now arranges automatically for those claims to be retried."

Mrs Hagaman said she had been advised by her legal team that Mr Little was not entitled to protection by privilege.

"As this matter remains unresolved, I believe it requires clarification.

"While Earl is still alive I believe that it is important that every effort is made to bring his claims to completion, and I intend to do so."

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