December 4, 2018
This Friday, Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) will appear in the Civil Court of Basel, Switzerland, to answer a complaint filed by Sakto, a Canadian real-estate company.
In this first hearing, the court will consider: the applicable law (Swiss or Canadian), as well as BMF’s allegation that it is not urgent to order a stop to their defamatory campaign.
Last Friday, BMF appealed for donations to pay their legal bills associated with Sakto’s litigation against them. Noting that BMF spent reportedly over CHF 600,000 of their donors’ money on their failed lawsuit against this Canadian company in Canada this year, the merits of further supporting the legal expenses of this Swiss NGO are questionable. You can read more in this article by Handelszeitung, which raises important questions about BMF’s 8-year campaign as well as BMF's governance, transparency, and accountability.
In February 2018, BMF’s defamatory allegations against Sakto and its principals were dismissed outright in the Ontario Superior Court in Canada. While BMF continue to downplay the result as an obscure legal technicality, Sakto looks forward to demonstrating the facts to the Basel court, and finally bringing BMF’s defamatory campaign to a close.
BMF have used “conjecture and suspicion” in defaming Sakto, but the courts will hold them to a much higher standard: the facts matter.
What is this about?
Sakto is seeking an injunction ordering BMF and Executive Director, Lukas Straumann, to withdraw from the public domain defamatory material used in the NGO’s campaign against the company over the past eight years.
The goal of Sakto’s complaint is for BMF and Lukas Straumann to remove their false and defamatory allegations from the public domain, and to stop their misguided campaign against Sakto and its founders.
BMF and Lukas Straumann spread false statements and made speculative allegations against Sakto through social media channels, websites, blogs, and in-person protests. There are over 1,100 infringing statements and more than 250 publications. The injunction also seeks to prevent BMF from repeating their defamatory comments.
You can read about the Canadian court case and supporting facts here, and the Basel court case here.
You can read our last blog post where we consider important questions about BMF’s governance, transparency and accountability here.