The AGE: Christian Porter has discontinued his high-stakes defamation claim against the ABC just days after the parties agreed to attend mediation behind closed doors.
Porter has tried to portray his discontinuation of the case as a humiliating back down for the ABC. It would have been, had the ABC decided to discontinue the case. But it didn’t.
The ABC said “it did not contend that the serious accusations could be substantiated to the applicable legal standard – criminal or civil”.
Mr Porter said outside the Federal Court in Sydney on Monday that the outcome was “a humiliating backdown by the ABC.
“I never thought that they would concede that the accusations that were put in the article could never be proven … to the criminal standard or the civil standard.”
Hold on: that’s not what the ABC said.
They said they did “not content” accusations could be substantiated. That is quite different from the ABC saying they “could never be proven“
There are now calls for the Inquiry, which was held over until Porter’s lawsuit was decided, to be reinstated.
The Inquiry should find whether the allegations are proven.