Tweed Councillor Katie Milne
Tweed Councillor Katie Milne

Milne fails to have defamation case thrown out of court

TWEED Councillor Katie Milne has failed her bid to have the defamation case being brought against her by billionaire developer Bob Ell thrown out of court.

The outspoken Green is being sued over a widely published letter which linked Mr Ell to murdered Sydney businessman Michael McGurk and raised concerns about his donations to politicians.

She claims Mr Ell's reasons for targeting her, rather than the media outlets who reported on the controversial issues, were personal.

Her abuse of process claim was heard in the Sydney Supreme Court this week but on Wednesday Justice Lucy McCallum ruled against her to pay the court's costs.

Justice McCallum has yet to reveal whether Ms Milne will have to fork out more money over the scandalous letter which called on the community to support an independent review of proposed development at Kings Forest and Cobaki.

Reference was made in the letter to Mr Ell's alleged financial contributions to the election campaigns of two Tweed councillors and both the state and federal Labor and Liberal parties.

It was also suggested Mr Ell's working relationship with Mr McGurk raised "serious concerns".

Following a hearing earlier this year, Justice McCallum rejected Mr Ell's claims that Ms Milne had implicated him in the murder of Mr McGurk but found imputations he had - a "scandalous association" with Mr McGurk, paid $100,000 bail for a person "suspected by police of serious crimes of violence in order to advance his business interests" and conducted his property development business by employing a person with a reputation for violence - had been conveyed.

Mr Ell has never brought evidence in person.

Neither he nor Ms Milne was present in court this week.

Final orders are expected to be made in the coming days.



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