6 Dec 2016

Colin Craig defamation trial will not be tried by jury

1:19 pm on 6 December 2016

Former Conservative party leader Colin Craig has won his bid for an upcoming defamation case to be heard by a judge alone.

Colin Craig during the press conference announcing his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party (19 June).

Colin Craig during the press conference announcing his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

In a written decision, a High Court judge ruled the case, which includes allegations against Mr Craig of financial and electoral fraud, was too complex to be heard by a jury.

Former party board member John Stringer is accused of defaming Mr Craig when he said he rigged a party leadership vote by sending voting papers only to supportive party members, the court decision said.

Both men are representing themselves in the High Court trial, which is due to be heard in Auckland over three weeks in March.

In September this year Colin Craig was found guilty by a jury of defaming Taxpayers' Union founder Jordan Williams.

The jury awarded a total of $1.27 million in damages to Mr Williams.