The defence ofqualified privilege also known as the Reynolds privilege as propounded in thecase of Reynolds v Times Newspaper Ltd is a defence of responsible journalism.For this defence to succeed, the following two pre-requisite has to besatisfied: a) the publication concerned a matter of public interest; and b)responsible and fair steps had been taken to gather, verify and publish theinformation. Here, my client is a successful businessman and any previousconviction on criminal breach of trust would affect the public interest,however, with responsible and fair steps, the defendant could have verify theaccuracy of the alleged conviction from the court.
Thus, it is highly unlikelythat they would succeed in raising this defence. The last possible defence that they would raise would bethe defence of reportage. Reference had to be made to the case of RaubAustralian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd v Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd, where Malaysiakinisuccessfully raise the defence.