Anybody know what happened in this lawsuit, Frank Otuo suing the WT of Britain and an elder for defamation?

by AndersonsInfo 12 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • AndersonsInfo

    This lawsuit was discussed on JWN five months ago:

    Anybody know what the present disposition is in this case?

    The following link is to the actual newspaper article:

    A former Jehovah’s Witness is suing the UK branch of the religion and a London congregation leader for more than £150,000 after allegedly being ostracised following a business dispute.

    Frank Otuo, 43, is suing the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain and an elder of its Wimbledon congregation, Jonathan Morley, for defamation, saying he has been “disfellowshipped” over allegations of fraud he says are untrue.

    As a life-long worshipper Mr Otuo, a property developer from Putney, claims he has lost hundreds of friends from within the tight-knit religious community.

    A member of the Wimbledon congregation for 20 years, he also claims the move has violated his right to a family life because relatives who belong to the faith, including his ailing mother living abroad, are effectively barred from speaking to him.

    According to papers lodged at the High Court, seen by the Standard, Mr Otuo claims to have suffered “near irreparable damage to his reputation, emotions, physical and psychological” and “extreme shunning by friends and family.”

    The papers add: “My three young children [aged seven to 14] are finding it extremely difficult to cope with the fact that their dad has been ostracised by the only community they have ever known since birth.

    “This is in addition to the spiritual harm and mental distress caused to me as a direct consequence of the action.

    “I have lost all my friends who were only Jehovah’s Witnesses as they are not allowed to speak to me lest they face the same fate.

    “The worship and faith was in essence everything my family and I lived for.

    “It was our lives and everything else revolved around it. I am not allowed to have any spiritual association with my own wife and children [who still attend meetings].”

    The business spat is said to have erupted in July 2012.

    An unhappy creditor is said to have complained about Mr Otuo to congregation elders, who set up a committee and later booted out the father-of-three.

    The court claim said Mr Otuo “vigorously denies the allegation of fraud and has consistently maintained his innocence”.

    A court hearing is set for October 30.

    Mr Morley declined to comment.

    A Watchtower spokesman said it would defend the action.

  • defender of truth
    defender of truth

    Ask this person, it was posted in february..


    "You are wrong and ill -informed. In English the burden of proof rest on the accuser in all defamation cases. As I understand it Mr Otuo is neither a criminal nor has he ever been tried by any court in the world for fraud let alone convict of it. The most recent Judgement in this case 24/11/14 in the case; Watchtower's application to strike out the case was dismissed. Further comment defence no longer exist and prior to was only available to the press. "

  • defender of truth
    defender of truth

    Hi Barbara. I've asked for help on topix, no response yet.

    Also, seeing as the papers were lodged at the High Court, here is the phone number if anyone wants to ring and ask them..

    RCJ High Court: 020 7947 6562

  • Splash

    There's this court document which, if I read it correctly, says the WT failed to get the case dismissed.

  • defender of truth
    defender of truth
    Still can't find the case via online searches, and no topix responses..These are only the ways I can find, for you to possibly get the information.
    Please update us if you find anything on the case, or if you are going to try one of these avenues. Best of luck :)
    "if you are unable to find what you are looking for, you can make a request by filling in this online form:"
    "Please be as specific as possible about the information you are seeking to obtain, such as by providing a specific time frame to assist staff in locating the information (for example, January 1999 to October 2000).Being specific in your request also makes it less likely it will be turned down on cost grounds.."
    "You have the right to appeal these decisions and to have them investigated (see ‘What if I am unhappy with the response?’)"
    Also, the registers held by Trust Online cover the High court:
    "England & Wales Section 2: High court judgments"
    What you need to know to search the registers
    "To search the registers, you need to give the full name and address of any person or business."
    "The fee for a search of the England & Wales Register is £4 per section - you just choose the sections which will help you."
    (Thanks to Splash finding that pdf, we now know the case was at the Queen's Bench)
    To speak to Queen’s Bench court staff please telephone:020 7947 7772
    ------You will let us know if you find anything, won't you? Thanks for posting this, it's an interesting case.
  • AndersonsInfo

    Thanks for your help, defender of truth. I know nothing more about this case other than what you have posted.

    Please keep searching because this would be an important ruling if Mr. Otuo wins in his lawsuit against WT of Britain.


  • defender of truth
    defender of truth
    No problem, glad to help. Have you done a search via the TrustOnline link? I can't afford it.
  • OrphanCrow

    Barbara, it looks like this case is to be presented for judgement on Monday, March 16, 2015.

    The listing does not mention the actual date, but it appears in a list of other cases that are to be heard on that date.

    COURT 1
    (sitting as a Judge of the High Court)
    Not before 2 o'clock
    QB/2014/0571 Otuo v Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Britain
  • defender of truth
    defender of truth

    Well done Orphan Crow.

    I'm surprised that not many seem interested in this, this case could start a neverending landslide of lawsuits.

    If anyone can get there, please report back..

  • AndersonsInfo

    Wonderful! Thanks so much to defender of truth who didn't give up and Orphan Crow who came through with the information. OK, another mountain to climb but we can only hope Mr. Otuo wins and then a whole new door will open in the future for victims of unfair disfellowshipping and shunning practices which can actually defined as defamation.

    Wow, I'm happy. What a great three weeks this has been for us all thanks to wonderful media people. More to come folks; more to come.


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