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Dutton’s defamation case discontinued

Notice has been given to the High Court after a finding in favour of the opposition leader was overturned on appeal and an agreement reached on costs.

Notice has been given to the High Court after a finding in favour of the opposition leader was overturned on appeal and an agreement reached on costs. Photo: AAP

Peter Dutton’s defamation case against a refugee advocate has come to an end after an agreement was struck over legal costs, following the overturning of a finding in favour of the opposition leader.

A notice of discontinuation was filed in the High Court on Friday.

Refugee advocate Shane Bazzi in December was ordered to pay Mr Dutton $35,000 in damages and some of his legal costs over a now-deleted tweet.

The judge found the six-word tweet labelling the then home affairs minister “a rape apologist” was defamatory.

But in May three Federal Court appeal judges allowed Mr Bazzi’s appeal, set aside the December order and dismissed the proceeding.

The court was scheduled to examine whether Mr Dutton would have to pay Mr Bazzi’s legal costs, who raised money for his defence using crowdfunding.

O’Brien Solicitors, representing Mr Bazzi, on Monday said an agreement had been struck and there was no need for further argument.

“This has been a long and tough campaign against a powerful adversary,” the law firm said in a statement.

Mr Bazzi said people should be able to reasonably criticise politicians without fear of being sued.

“I am very relieved that this matter has now been finalised.”

“I am proud that I fought this case and was vindicated by the Full Court of the Federal Court,” he said.

– AAP

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