Saturday, February 5, 2011

Alan Bond rebuts Paul Barry

In his relentless quest for self promotion and profit, Paul Barry seeks to string together lies and exaggeration to make a story about my investment in Global Diamond Resources PLC.

A story published by Barry’s friends News Ltd in Australia in December 2010 was nonsense.

Investment in foreign countries is fraught with political risk. The Lesotho Government acting in a manner which is the subject of litigation in the United Kingdom by disappointed investors and by Global Diamond Resources PLC, purported to revoke the companies tenements relating to the Kao Diamond Mine in the mountains of Lesotho. They were the cause of its failure.

Corporate entities and trusts which my family control lost millions of dollars in this regard. I am as angry as the other investors and yet Barry targets me with a tissue of lies. He asserts that Greg Kennedy has been one of my ‘best mates for the past 7 years’. Greg Kennedy is known to me as a businessman in Singapore. He is not what I would call a ‘best mate’ or a ‘mate’ at all. He does not socialise with me, and the amount of his investment in Kao Diamond Mine or Global Diamond Resources was massively less than represented by Barry. Barry claims he lost at least $6 million. This is palpably false.

The suggestion that the Kao Diamond Mine could have been sold to make money is equally nonsense and reflects (if the quote is accurately attributed to Kennedy by Barry) how little Kennedy knew about the venture.

The Board (not myself) rejected an offer for valid commercial reasons. After that time the impact of the Global Financial Crisis caused a collapse in world diamond prices. This forced the company to place the Kao Diamond Mine on care and maintenance.

Barry’s other smear campaign against me is to attempt to link me to Lesley Greyling (also alleged by Barry to be my ‘mate’). I was introduced to Greyling as an investor and was unaware that he had a criminal record and was wanted in the US for alleged securities fraud – if those facts as reported by Barry are true.

He is not a man with whom I have ‘teamed up’ or otherwise associated.

Barry contacted me before the article. When I saw his contact I asked my solicitor Martin Bennett to respond to Barry. Bennett responded prior to the publication of the article by Barry, who then declined to obtain my comments and rebuttals for publication. In my opinion Barry was more intent on getting a story out rather than letting facts get in the way.

Barry is a man who in 2010 returned to Media Watch. He has been married twice and has 6 children. He makes his living writing supposed expose books. He has been attacked by others over the quality of his recent reporting of James Packer. Eddie McGuire and Andrew Forrest claimed Barry engaged in ‘sloppy journalism’. His article concerning me reflects the same sloppy lack of attention to fact.

Read it with this in mind.