Vander Zalm found guilty of defaming former conflict of interest commissioner

Ladner resident and former premier Bill Vander Zalm has been found guilty of defaming former conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes.

A B.C. Supreme Court jury made the ruling last Thursday.

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Hughes was awarded damages of $60,000.

That amount could be higher once the court determines how much of the legal cost of Hughes will have to be paid by the former premier.

Vander Zalm, the former Social Credit premier, was sued by Hughes over material in Vander Zalm's selfpublished autobiography, For the People.

Hughes alleged the book contains false and malicious statements that defamed him.

Vander Zalm denied the allegations.

In his book, Vander Zalm claimed Hughes was biased and politically partisan over a report the commissioner made looking into the controversial sale of Vander Zalm's Fantasy Gardens.

The premier resigned afterwards, triggering the end of Social Credit as a force in B.C. politics.

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