DEFENCE lawyers for the Benalla Ensign argued an article that accused Sophie Mirabella of pushing Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) out of the way to obstruct a photograph being taken was “substantially true”.
They were in Wangaratta County Court yesterday to defend Libby Price and Benalla Newspapers in a defamation case brought by former Indi MP Sophie Mirabella.
Barrister David Gilbertson QC argued the article did not mean the plaintiff had physically pushed Ms McGowan at the opening of a new wing at Cooinda Aged Care in Benalla, but rather it meant she had pushed another politician.
The article was written by Libby Price, who was the paper’s editor at the time, and published on April 20, 2016 after Ms Mirabella attended the official opening of the new wing.
It said Ms Mirabella had pushed Ms McGowan out of the way so she could not take a photo with Federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, who was also in attendance at the event.