Venezuela: Eva Golinger threats to sue Vcrisis
By Aleksander Boyd
London 07 June 2004 – Well folks, it appears that Mrs Golinger Moncada did not like the article I wrote about her and is pursuing legal actions against me. Loyal to my principle to keep a public record of my dealings with the regime’s ‘advocates’ I will reproduce here her messages chronologically, my responses and a note received from Pair.com, which is the company that hosts this site.
From: Eva Golinger
Date: 05/06/2004 06:11
I suggest you get your facts straight before you publish such outrageous claims on the web. Although you may think you are not subject to the LAW, you are, and you had better be careful when you publish statements that are defamatory and slanderous in nature, such as those you are pursuing against me. You can guarantee yourself that not only am I lawyer, but I will file a complaint against you for slander if you do not remove the damaging statements against me from your web page.
Date: 05/06/2004 09:18
To: Eva Golinger
many thanks for your message and advice about getting my facts straight. Could you please tell me why is it that there is no record of you in New York State's Unified Court Service? For I am under the impression that all legal professionals working on that state need be register there. I must admit that it could be possible that you work in another state, therefore that rule wouldn't apply to you. Yet most of the articles I have read about you made the same claim "Brooklyn, N.Y. based attorney..." My understanding of being based in a place is perhaps a bit blurred, however when one is based in a given geographic location one tends to live, work and engage in all the activities intrinsic to one's life in said place.
Moreover you seem to be quite content in allowing for such claim of residence to be widely published and you wrote yourself "... I can assure that my earning capacity is much higher than that as a result of my very successful private practice..." What sort of reaction would you expect from readers? Should websites and other forms of media publish that I live in London where I work as a lawyer, would you start on a fact-finding mission about me (hypothetically speaking) in Edinburgh?
That is exactly what I did, I took up your word, and constant mention of your legal persona, and researched. I can not doubt that you may have a law degree and the same rationale could be applied to your work in another state. However as far as the N.Y. registry is concerned there is no record of you; that is a hard cold fact and not Defamation & Slander. Please do not waste your time threatening me for I could not care less about it. Should you feel offended, why not trying to save your reputation by producing a factual report of your life instead?
From: Eva Golinger
Date: 05/06/2004 15:01
Consider for a moment that you do not know how the legal system or lawyer system works in the United States. Also take into account that I have no desire or time to educate you about all the complexities and intracies of this system. Furthermore, understand that attempting to discredit me through a false claim about my credentials, of which you can be 100% sure I possess, is defamation - you are placing false claims about me in writing. Look, Aleksander, I'll be honest with you - I have no desire to expose my life to you - what I said in other letters about my earning income was merely to stave off the continued attempts to accuse me of being salaried by Chávez, that's all. I'm not trying to make myself out to be better than anyone else. However, I am also watching my back here - receiving tons of death threats and other unpleasantries on a daily basis certainly does not make me want to expose my private and personal life any further to people like you who attack me personally. I have never attacked you in an article or column and would never do so - it is very cheap and distasteful to do so.
Also, don't think that everything can be done over the internet, or that you know my state of residence or practice - or that it is any of your business to know. Furthermore, I am not a politician or celebrity, so you cannot flimisily publish articles about me that include false claims or are slanderous in nature. I am not trying to threaten you but rather give you the opportunity to retract.
To: Eva Golinger
I appreciate your more respectful tone in this message, however condescending. You maintain that I have written false claims about you and I beg to differ. I have spoken with New York State Court System information officers and they have assured me that the name Eva Golinger Moncada does not exist in their database. It is surprising that in your mother's web site one can read the following information:
"Eva Golinger is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. She is a certified translator and has extensive knowledge of foreign cultures and educational systems. She has resided outside the United States and has worked as a professor in foreign universities, adding to her thorough understanding of educational systems outside the United States. She is an expert in comparing cultures, including their social, professional and educational systems. Her evaluation of education credentials from foreign nations is widely accepted. Eva Golinger is an accepted INS Credentials Evaluator."
I have just got off the phone with the office of the registrar of Sarah Lawrence College and again they seem to have no record of an Eva Golinger or Eva Moncada or even Eva Calderon -or any combination of those last names-. The nice lady to whom I spoke to suggested that you might have studied there with another name, which is of course possible. I also called the registry at CUNY for it says in some other website where you have contributed, that you gained your law degree from that university. They did not want to pass any information about you without your approval, which I consider fair.
You may be wondering about my intentions and I will be equally frank: I have taken issue with you Eva for thanks to your idea of a fairer and more transparent world at this moment two very valuable individuals are facing treason charges in Venezuela. That is to say, you have messed with my country, its democracy and whatever chances there are to putting an end to the most disgraceful chapter of our contemporary history. Unfortunately you make part of that most shameful chapter. You may be a barrister, an immigration lawyer, a translator -as your mother claims- or you can be an astronaut for all I care; what I am not prepared to accept from you or any of the salaried advocates of this regime is to continue lying with total impunity and believe me when I tell you that I will make the most of any chances that I get at exposing you for what you are and not for what you falsely claim to be. My mission is to destroy whatever credibility you may have left so that in the future when people come across your name they will think "isn't her the lady who staunchly supported that criminal in Venezuela?"
Thus if you want to set the record straight I would like to invite you again to come out of the closet and say who you are and the reasons for your opinionated and misleading claims. Furthermore I would like to know why are you defending Hugo Chavez; the reason of your issue with Sumate; the logic behind your absurd legal interpretations; in sum I want to understand what goes through your mind when you leave your 'very successful practice' to write such nonsense in favour of a convicted criminal. I have said this to Greg before, you simply can not expect people to respect you when you engage in such criticizable actions.
The article stays and there is more to come and shoud you wish to pursue legal proceedings against me where will this be; in NY, London or perhaps with that beacon of justice called Tribunal Supremo de Justicia?
Lastly the message from the abuse department at Pair.com and the communication received by them from Mrs Golinger (my response to Pair at the bottom).
Hello, this is Chris Carter from pair Networks, Inc. Abuse Dept.
Please be advised that the parties below are seeking libel recovery from an article posted on your web site hosted with us. As pair Networks can not determine libel in such a case, we defer the matter to the courts. However, should a judgment or cease and desist order be sent, we will enforce it with removal of service for the site in question as necessary until content is in compliance with the order given. This is the only action we will take in such a case.
However, we do recommend that you review the materials in question, and make any changes necessary to satisfy the offended party. Legal battles over content are costly. You would be well advised to seek legal counsel before proceeding further with this matter.
Chris Carter Pair Networks
Mrs Golinger's message to Pair
I am writing to formally notify you that the website www.vcrisis.com, which you host, is publishing defamatory articles about me, a US-based lawyer. I am planning on suing the website founder & president, Aleksander Boyd, for Internet Defamation. He is making false claims about me, specifically publishing on his site hateful information and unfounded, false statements about my credentials as a lawyer. I have notified Mr. Boyd of his liability for defamation and asked him to retract his statements, and he has refused to do so. As such, I am first notifying you, his host, that he is in violation of your policy, which prevents publishing defamatory material on his site. I ask therefore, respectfully, that you please take all necessary actions to ensure that Mr. Boyd and vcrisis.com cease to publish defamatory material immediately. I appreciate your cooperation.
Eva Golinger, Esq.
My response to Pair:
Many thanks for your message. The libel claims alleged by Mrs Golinger Moncada are totally unfounded, furthermore I have revised and cross checked the information contained therein and it is correct. Furthermore I spoke to officials of New York State and she is not registered there for a simple reason, she appears to be an immigration lawyer. Therefore her claims of libel are baseless for I say explicitly in my article the following:
"Taking into consideration that she is a “Brooklyn, N.Y.-based attorney” I went through the database of the New York State Unified Court Service for all licensed attorneys in New York State must be registered there. Amazingly enough there is no record of Attorney Eva Golinger so I proceeded to contact them to find out whether the information held on the website was not properly updated. The person I talked to, after asking what field of law does she practice gave the same answer: no record of her. Well that is bizarre, isn’t it? Moreover neither exists an entry for that name in the New York Bar Association, however that is a voluntary organization, or in the Red Book which is another listing containing attorney’s information."
The fact that she is an immigration attorney does not collide with what I wrote. You have pointed out quite correctly that these are costly and very difficult indeed. However I refuse to alter the content of the piece; I am a law student myself and do not see in what way can a libel suit proceed. Mrs Golinger is not registered in any of the mentioned associations and that can hardly be defined as libel or false allegations, on the contrary those are facts and it can easily be proven in a court of law.
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