Kimmage confirms that legal appeal over McQuaid and Verbruggen lawsuit has been dismissed
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Kimmage confirms that legal appeal over McQuaid and Verbruggen lawsuit has been dismissed

by Shane Stokes at 8:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Journalist to speak to his lawyer to consider if further course of action should be taken

Paul KimmageThe journalist Paul Kimmage has confirmed that an appeal lodged against the original dismissal of a case taken by him has been rejected by Swiss courts.

On November 1st Kimmage and his lawyer Cédric Aguet lodged a criminal complaint and denunciation against former UCI president Hein Vebruggen and current president Pat McQuaid.

The journalist requested the opening of a criminal investigation for ‘slander/defamation, denigration and for strong suspicions of fraud.’

That case came six days after McQuaid and Verbruggen said that they were putting their own earlier action against Kimmage on hold, pending the outcome of an Independent Commission’s investigation of the Lance Armstrong affair and the UCI’s conduct.

The public prosecutor in Vevey, Switzerland, then rejected the criminal investigation requested by Kimmage.

InsideTheGames.biz reported that an appeal was lodged in March of this year but has now been “dismissed to the extent that it is admissible.”

Contacted by VeloNation, Kimmage confirmed the news and said he was waiting to speak to his lawyer Aguet to consider if a further course of action should be taken or if the matter should be allowed rest.

At the time the case was launched, Aguet said that they had submitted a 28 page document with 55 exhibits attached. He said that Kimmage’s complaint said that he was, “among other things, dragged through the mud, that he was called a liar in public and accused in public of committing offences against the honour after he had obtained the publication of an interview by Floyd Landis in which the latter denounced the conduct of the highest officials of the International Cycling Union (UCI).

“In addition, Paul Kimmage informs the Swiss criminal authorities of the strong suspicions which weigh on at least Hein Vebruggen to have granted, directly or indirectly, the essential assistance which allowed Lance Armstrong to gain significant sums of money in and out of competition while he was doped.”

Aguet said that Kimmage had initiated the criminal proceedings “in honour of the whistle-blowers – Stephen Swart, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Christophe Bassons, Nicolas Aubier, Giles Delion, Graham Obree and the many others – who were brave enough to speak but were dismissed as ‘liars’, ‘cowards,’ or ‘scumbags’ by Hein Verbruggen and/or Pat McQuaid.”

It is not yet clear on what basis the Swiss prosecutor dismissed the case, or if any further action could or will be taken.

Kimmage told VeloNation that he was waiting to get clarification of what costs have been occurred. “The beauty about the original case was that Cédric said that costs would be minimal once the public prosecutor began to consider things. If he decided to progress with it, the Swiss system would cover the costs.”

He said that he was waiting to see what the actual costs of the appeal were.

Kimmage was left in a complicated position by the disappearance of the legal fund originally donated to aid his defence. An appeal set up by the Cyclismas and NYVelocity websites last year raised over $90,000, but at the start of May it emerged that the Cyclismas co-founder Aaron Brown had transferred the fund out of the original Paypal account into one he controlled.

He has thus far refused to turn that fund over to a neutral escrow account, thus making it unavailable for use.

At the time Kimmage told VeloNation that he was upset that Brown, a person whom he trusted and had intended working with in the coming months, had moved the fund without consulting anyone.

Brown was sued by Cyclismas co-founder Lesli Cohen, against whom he has lodged a counter-claim. The cases are still pending.

On May 9th the Skins clothing company said that if McQuaid and Verbruggen relaunched their suspended action, that it would step forward to protect Kimmage against any legal bills which could arise.

However that is thought to be separate to the case Kimmage himself launched. Skins CEO Jaimie Fuller has not been contactable thus far today.

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