Basel, Switzerland, and Ottawa, Canada – 11 February 2019 – Sakto Corporation (‘Sakto’), a mid-size Canadian real estate company located in Ottawa, has filed main civil court proceedings against Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fonds (‘BMF’).
Following a first procedural hearing at the Basel Civil Court on 7th December 2018, Judge Wolf has expressed a view that an urgent injunction before the civil proceedings is not warranted due in part to the passage of time since the BMF campaign began. However, the importance of this matter has not diminished for Sakto and its principals, and they remain confident that the Court will order the permanent removal of the defamatory material from the public domain after the main civil court proceedings. These proceedings have already been launched.
“Sakto has filed main civil court proceedings and will pursue every legal avenue to restore its reputation and ensure justice is done following BMF’s lengthy and defamatory campaign,” said Thomas Weibel, attorney at law and partner at VISCHER in Switzerland. “The application for an injunction was only the first step in Sakto’s legal action in the Basel civil court. This procedural decision has no bearing on the fundamental underlying merits of Sakto’s claim for defamation against BMF.”
As part of the main civil court proceedings, Sakto has invoked its statutory right which will oblige BMF to account for – by giving access to their financial records – the ways in which they raised money to finance their defamatory campaign. As a result, Sakto also has the legal right to claim so-called “infringer’s profit”, referring to the money that BMF raised in running their lengthy campaign based on suspicion and conjecture.
by Christian Mensch
First exchange of blows concerning Bruno Manser Fund before the Basel Civil Court
[English translation of the original German language article - Zeit Der Abrechnung]
Sakto Corporation is a small real estate company in Ottawa, Canada. But Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is certain: Sakto is engaged in money laundering. The firm is funded by money allegedly earned through deforestation of the Malaysian rainforest. After all, Sakto belongs to the daughter of the Malaysian ex-governor Mahmud Taib and her husband.
The Basel-based nongovernmental organization has waged a campaign against Sakto for nine years as part of its effort to combat rainforest deforestation. In the past year, however, its attempt to obtain concrete financial data on Sakto by judicial means in Canada failed. Since then, a counter-campaign against BMF has been under way.
In August, Sakto filed an extensive action with the Civil Court in Basel for defamation. It is linked to a request for preliminary injunctive relief, requiring BMF to delete statements in the public domain and face a fine of 1,000 francs a day in the event of further “infringing acts.” On Friday, an initial hearing took place before the judge Salome Wolf, which was to address two preliminary questions: Is there urgency to justify the injunctive relief? And do the Basel judicial authorities even have jurisdiction in the case?
by Franziska Laur
Canadian real estate firm sues for defamation
[English translation of the original German language article - Ungemach Für Manser Fond]
Basel. For nine whole years, Sakto, a Canadian real estate firm, has been aware of the accusations of money laundering leveled by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), but now its patience has apparently come to an end: yesterday the Canadians asked the Basel Civil Court to prohibit the further dissemination of 1,100 accusatory documents.
Two sub-aspects of the case were heard yesterday: whether Canadian or Swiss law should be applied and whether an urgent preliminary injunction should be handed down.
Both parties expressed confidence that they will prevail and said that they were glad to be able to make their case. The court will inform the parties of its judgment by mail. It can be assumed that the Sakto v. BMF case will be litigated for a long time to come.
PRESS RELEASE: Sakto Corporation Applies to Basel Civil Court for Injunction against Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fonds
Basel, Switzerland, and Ottawa, Canada – 20 August 2018 – Sakto Corporation (‘Sakto’), a mid-size Canadian real estate company located in Ottawa, announced today that it has applied to the Basel Civil Court to obtain an injunction against Bruno Manser Fonds (‘BMF’), a Swiss NGO based in Basel, Switzerland. The injunction seeks to order BMF to remove from the public domain a litany of false statements and speculative allegations relating to Sakto. These total over 1,100 infringing statements and over 250 publications. The injunction also seeks to prevent BMF from repeating the defamatory comments.
April 20, 2018, 5:13 PM EDT
A Swiss environmental group’s attempt to link a Canadian real estate company to Malaysian corruption failed because the advocates didn’t come up with enough evidence.
The Ontario Superior Court has dismissed an application by the Swiss-based Activist group, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) for a Norwich Pharmacal Order which sought banking records of a private Canadian company, Sakto Corporation.orporation.
By NST - February 7, 2018 @ 11:40am
ONTARIO: The Ontario Superior Court has dismissed an application by the Swiss-based Activist group, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) for a Norwich Pharmacal Order which sought banking records of a private Canadian company, Sakto Corporation.
In a statement issued today by GRA Communications, Legal Counsel for Sakto Corporation, Duncan Fraser said the judge had ruled that Canadian law did not allow foreign “vigilante citizens’ groups” to circumvent the Canadian constitution and get access to private records.
He said the judge ruled that this was especially so “where they don’t have evidence any crime was committed.”
THE BORNEO POST
KUCHING: A Canadian court dismissed an application by Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) for the disclosure of financial data in a money-laundering case involving an Ottawa real estate company.
According to a report by Free Malaysia Today, Ontario Superior Court Justice Sean Dunphy reportedly said BMF was “asking for greater powers than the police have”.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 5, 2018
UPDATED FEBRUARY 6, 2018
DAVE CHAN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
JAMES BRADSHAW/BANKING REPORTER
An Ontario judge swiftly dismissed an unusual request to obtain sensitive financial records made by a group pursuing allegations of money laundering involving an Ottawa real estate firm with family ties to Malaysian officials.
The Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), a Swiss-based advocacy group, went to court with a novel approach that sought the equivalent of a search warrant. If successful, it would have forced some of Canada's largest banks to turn over financial records relating to business dealings by Sakto Corp., an influential force in Ottawa real estate.