iiNet seeks legal advice over Conroy comments

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iiNet seeks legal advice over Conroy comments

iiNet is considering historical legal action over Senator Conroy's 'stunning' analysis of its copyright infringement defense in the Federal Court.

The Federal Opposition accused Senator Stephen Conroy yesterday of prejudicing a Federal Court case during his address to the CommsDay Summit earlier this week.

Michael Malone, managing director of iiNet said he believes Senator Conroy is weighing in on the upcoming Federal Court trial to "get back at iiNet" over the ISP's opposition to internet filtering trials.

"We're disappointed that a minister would use his position to interfere in an active court case, especially a landmark case in his own portfolio," Malone said.

"It really does seem that his motivation is just to get back at iiNet for raising concerns about his censorship plan.  We just believed that he should have a clear policy and a transparent approach, rather than a secret list."

Malone was baffled by Conroy's statement that he had witnessed the details of iiNet's defence under oath.

"We haven't even submitted our defence yet, so I am really worried that he says he has seen it," Malone said.

"We have sought legal advice on this.  It's unheard of for a crown minister to try to influence the outcome of an active case."

According to legal experts discussing the matter with iTnews yesterday, it is also unheard of for a minister of state to be implicated in a contempt of court case.

Contempt cases tend to be instigated by judges concerned that public statements had influenced a jury. There is no jury in the case of iiNet vs AFACT (the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft).

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