By P.J. Malone
Producers from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) show, “The Fifth Estate”, are before the courts in Canada accused of knowingly using individuals who were ‘convicted con artists’ and “not credible” to speak ill of fashion mogul Peter Nygard.
As a part of the investigation of the former Scotland Yard Detective, who was hired by Mr. Nygard to get to the bottom of all of the attacks against him, it was discovered that the CBC Producers hired the same individual previously mention in Sex Lies & Video Tape Part III, who supposedly suggested that women be paid to make certain statements about Mr. Nygard.
The CBC’s Fifth Estate show aired with interview guests making disparaging remarks about Mr. Nygard despite Mr. Nygard’s lawyers sharing evidence with the CBC that these guests were not credible.
Subsequently, a criminal prosecution was launched by Mr. Nygard for defamatory libel against the show’s host and the CBC producers.
According to a Winnipeg Sun (Canadian newspaper) article (“Legal win for Nygard: Billionaire’s criminal suit against CBC ‘may have merit,’ says judge), two of the witnesses who were former employees at Nygard Cay are convicted con artists.
The Calgary Sun (Canadian newspaper) in their article, “Serial fraudster seen on Fifth Estate to appear in St. Lucia court, reported, “According to police in St. Lucia, the couple has ‘a history of committing frauds in other Caribbean islands, leaving each jurisdiction for the next island when identified by law enforcement officials.’ ”
The Winnipeg Sun in its reporting quotes from the 28-page decision against the CBC by Justice Doug Abra of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench:
“ ‘Based upon the correspondence between Sawa, CBC’s lawyers and Nygard’s lawyers, there was sufficient evidence to prove that the applicants all knew that some of the information that was being broadcast could indeed be false,’ Abra wrote, in upholding the decision.
“ ‘If the prosecution can prove at trial that some or all of the information contained in the letters from Nygard’s lawyers is true, and the applicants went ahead and broadcast the program in the face of the evidence, some or all of the applicants may be guilty of defamatory libel,’ he wrote in a later passage.
“Private criminal prosecutions are exceedingly rare in Manitoba, with most thrown out by the Attorney General as a way to prevent frivolous prosecutions from clogging up the justice system. However, the Attorney General allowed the charges against the applicants [to] continue, a position Abra described as ‘significant.’
“ ‘I agree…that the inference to be drawn from the Attorney General’s decision is that this private prosecution is not frivolous or vexatious,’ he wrote. ‘It may have merit.’ ”
It was the persistence in airing information from witnesses that they allegedly knew was false that landed the CBC in hot water.
But why would the CBC insist on broadcasting information that may have been knowingly false?
In the court documents from the Bahamas courts, the Former Scotland Yard Detective stated, “[The CBC Producer] was reportedly in regular contact with [S], a private investigator described as Louis Bacon’s head of security during the making of the programme.”
What a tangled web one continues to weave when first one practices to deceive.