May 23, 2019 - Ottawa
Sakto Corporation (‘Sakto’), a mid-size Canadian real estate company located in Ottawa, is suing the Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) and its Executive Director Lukas Straumann for defamation. BMF have engaged in a multi-year campaign making unfounded allegations, and Sakto is taking serious legal action to stop them.
Sakto has confirmed that it is turning its full legal attention to bringing Bruno Manser Fonds to trial for defamation. Sakto filed main civil court proceedings against BMF with the Basel Civil Court in January 2019 seeking to put an end the BMF active campaign against Sakto.
In February 2019, the Court ruled an urgent injunction was not warranted, mostly due to the passage of time since BMF began their campaign some 10 years ago. Today, the Basel Court of Appeal confirmed that decision.
“With this preliminary matter closed, Sakto can focus on the main proceedings for a finding of defamation,” said Thomas Weibel, attorney at law and partner at VISCHER in Switzerland. “We look forward to bringing an end to Lukas Straumann’s admitted 'name and shame' campaign, once and for all.”
As part of the main proceedings, Sakto has invoked its statutory right to claim so-called “infringer’s profit”, i.e., the money that BMF raised in running their lengthy campaign at the expense of Sakto’s reputation. This will oblige BMF to account for the ways in which they raised money to finance their defamatory campaign.
Bruno Manser Fonds is also under criminal investigation. The Basel Prosecutor's Office is investigating their campaign against Sakto. The criminal investigation against those responsible at BMF relates to alleged libel, false accusation, but also fraud and misappropriation of donated funds.
Sakto recently wrote to BMF’s Board of Directors to question the legitimacy and validity of the campaign against Sakto and its founders in Canada, asking about any measurable benefits to the indigenous tribes and the rainforest in Malaysia after Lukas Straumann’s decade-long effort.
“Lukas Straumann already admitted in Canadian court proceedings that he does not have reasonable grounds for his allegations,” added Weibel. “Sakto has made clear that the proceedings against BMF are intended to bring the public campaign to an end and to have the defamatory allegations against it retracted and deleted.”
For more information regarding these matters, please visit theFactsMatter.ca. An infographic detailing tactics used by BMF throughout this unjust campaign can be found at https://www.thefactsmatter.ca/bmf-tactics.html.