Vancouver (IANS): A South Asian businessman, who is originally from Bhuj, Gujarat, has been awarded $1.2 million in damages after he was defamed in a series of fake news articles instigated by a prominent American blockchain investor.
Vancouver-based Altaf Nazerali had sued Patrick Byrne, CEO of online retailer Overstock.com, for a campaign of lies aimed to tarnish the reputation of the NRI businessman.
Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected Byrne’s appeal against $1.2 million granted to the businessman by the B.C. Supreme Court in 2016.
The huge compensation for Nazerali comes after a seven-year legal battle to clear his name after a series of articles published in 2011, on an American website DeepCapture.com tried to depict Nazerali as a drug trafficker, arms dealer and gangster and a financial supporter of al-Qaida. The articles tried to show that he had links to Russian and Italian mafias.
The articles were written by Mark Mitchell and published on the website – owned and published by Byrne – which reports on criminal financial conspiracies.
In its 2016 judgment in favour of Nazerali, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck had said: “Mitchell, Byrne and Deep Capture LLC engaged in a calculated and ruthless campaign to inflict as much damage on Nazerali’s reputation as they could achieve.
“It is clear on the evidence that their intention was to conduct a vendetta in which the truth about Nazerali himself was of no consequence.”
The American blockchain investor challenged the judgment in the Supreme Court of Canada which last week threw it out.
So who is Nazerali?
According to his website: “Altaf “Aly” Nazerali is a successful businessman with philanthropic tendencies is based in Vancouver, Canada. Awarded a MBA from Columbia University at age 20, Nazerali’s innate business sense is evident through a storied career where he’s created, established, managed, and/or run multi-national companies on four continents.
“His foray into international business involved the responsibility by his first employer as In-Country Manager in Algeria. Here he managed a $235 million project to build, what was then, the largest electronics manufacturing plant in the world. A springboard to the world’s business stage, Nazerali successfully led of a number of large scale communication and engineering projects throughout Africa and the Middle East. Upon these successes he relocated to Europe where he specialized in commodity-based financing projects. Aly Nazerali eventually made his way back to Canada where he served as a principal for a commodities future trading company that operated a top performing mutual fund in Canada. Capitalizing on market opportunities in South America, Nazerali founded a Brazilian subscription TV company called Canbras Communications Corp. For the last 25 years, Nazerali has served as a principal of Valor Invest Ltd., a merchant banking firm, that has financed numerous companies focused primarily on natural resources, software, telecommunications, and emerging technologies located in Japan, North America, and Europe.
“Nazerali’s charitable acts are recognized for helping the less fortunate reap the benefits of a formal education. He donated the resources for a full-scale medical facility to be attached to Aga Khan University which bears his family’s name to his contributions. His involvement in Rotary International has also helped many students receive scholarships for higher education.”