Tonner Wins Damages Claim Against YTS

The Supreme Court of Vanuatu has made a summary judgment against one of the owners of Yumi Toktok Stret Facebook page, Julian Ligo and a warrant of arrest remains for the second owner, Matthew Temar.

The owners of the popular Facebook page and Yumi TokTok Stret are Respondents in Contempt for communications posted on Facebook.

The four Applicants in the case were South Sea Shipping (Vanuatu) Limited, John Brian Tonner, Main Wharf Management Limited and Tonner Investments Limited.

In respect to contempt, Mr Ligo was ordered to pay Vt250,000 to the applicants within 28 days.

The judgment in default against Mr Ligo in respect to the Claim is for the sum of Vt2.25 million with an interest payable from the date of the claim at the rate of 5% per annum until completely paid.

Costs of the applicants at the sum of Vt200,000 is to be paid by Mr Ligo within 21 days, as ordered by Supreme Court Judge Gustaaf Andree Wiltens.

The claim is to recompense for a trip to Sydney by Mr John Tonner to explain to his Board of Directors the allegations in the posts on social media. This cost around Vt3.28 million.

The other claims related to reputational issues.

On October 11, 2019 an interim restraining application order was issued to restrain the respondents from making further Facebook posts in relation to the applicant.

The respondents were to also ordered to immediately delete all posts on social media relating to the applicants.

But despite the orders being served on the applicants, no steps were made to comply with the requirement to delete previous posts and further posts were made contrary to the Court’s orders.

On February 6, 2020 the applicants were further cautioned about being in contempt of court and to get legal advice.

There was no compliance and a warrant of arrest was issued on both respondents on February 14, 2020.

The warrant against Mr Ligo was executed and he appeared in court, but Mr Temar is yet to appear before the court.

The Court has ordered for Mr Ligo to appear at 8am on October 23, 2020 to explain how he intends to make payment of the damages sum awarded.

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