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An Australian federal court on Wednesday ruled in favor of the country’s defense minister, Peter Dutton, and awarded him AU$35,000 ($25,000) in a defamation suit he brought against a refugee lawyer who posted on Twitter. The lawmaker was called, a move that comes at a time when the Australian government has vowed to crack down on harmful criticism on social media.

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Dutton said she experienced “hurt and distress” after seeing a tweet by refugee activist Shane Bazzi in which she described him as a “rape pardoner”, she told the court, According to Reuters.

The MLA said he was accustomed to the “ruthlessness” of politics, however, he was “deeply hurt” by the tweet.

Dutton was awarded the equivalent of $25,000 in damages—a fraction of the maximum possible amount—but Federal Judge Richard White denied the minister’s request for an injunction, which would prevent Bazzie from tweeting about him in the future. .

Dutton notes that he believes Bajji’s tweet was not a random rant against him because the refugee activist’s name had a blue tick next to it, indicating it is a verified account.

Baji posted his tweet after Dutton defended his handling of a sexual harassment complaint inside Parliament House.

The now-deleted tweet says “Peter Dutton is a rape apologist” and includes a link to a 2019 news story where Dutton is quoted as saying that some female refugees were “trying on this ” and was trying to enter Australia by making false claims. raped.

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