Tolga Kumova sues Alan Francis Davison for defamation on the Twitter account

An anonymous stock market gossip story followed by some of Australia’s top finance and business figures has been sued for libel.

Melbourne-based mining entrepreneur Tolga Kumova has filed a lawsuit against the New Zealand owner of the @stockswami Twitter account – named in court documents as Tauranga man Alan Francis Davison – over an alleged ongoing smear campaign.

The former stockbroker-turned mineral speculator, who has a net worth of $ 95 million, is seeking damages against Mr. Davison for six sets of tweets he deems defamatory.

Over the past year, @stockswami has falsely accused AFR Young Rich Lister of insider trading, involvement in pump-and-dump schemes, fraudulent business, and misleading the stock market, according to Mr. Kumova’s complaint statement filed with Federal Court i tweets have been posted.

“Inside the living and thriving trade on the ASX pirate ship,” @stockswami tweeted to his 6000+ followers on September 20 last year.

“$ EUC (European Cobalt), err cough cough, a special by Tolga Kumova, stops trading to explain a 33% rise in the (share price) and … oh … err … a material acquisition that they forgot to tell the market about. “

The repository claims that Mr. Davison’s tweets were commented on, retweeted or reacted to by some of his followers, creating a “screw effect”.

In another tweet on April 24 this year, he wrote that Mr. Kumova “certainly knows when to buy and sell a stock with which he is intimately connected.”

“He did it with $ SYR (Syrah Resources), $ NCZ (New Century Resources) and now $ BGL (Bellevue Gold). Tolga Kumova also needs to update with ASIC laws. “

In a series of tweets in June, he wrongfully accused Mr. Kumova of being part of a pump-and-dump “union”.

“Freeze your daughters and your money!” he wrote.

“Remember, a pumping group is no different than a drug union. The premise is the same. Find a source. Buy cheap. Network. Selling. Bling bling. “

In the complaint statement, Mr. Kumova lists prominent journalists who follow the @stockswami account, including by The Australian Financial Review, ABC, The age is The Sydney Morning Herald, although he doesn’t choose them to retweet posts.

“Due to Davison’s publication of the complained issues, Kumova was led to hatred, ridicule and contempt and was seriously hurt in his reputation, including his professional reputation as a trader and mining executive, and has suffered and will continue. to suffer loss and damage, “says the claim statement.

Mr. Kumova is seeking damages against Mr. Davison due to the “ongoing” nature of the campaign, his “inability to inform Kumova of the allegations he intended to publish prior to publication” and his “inability to publish apologies and retractions. once informed of factual errors ”by Mr. Kumova’s lawyers.

Mr. Davison previously discussed on his Twitter account how he got rich with an online business that drives traffic to adult websites.

“I feel forever blessed and thankful for my luck,” he tweeted in May. “It allowed me to raise my children while I was at home. It also allows me to sit here and stop the pump sets and ASX professional operators. “

He also claims to have traded shares on the NZ $ 1 million ASX.

“Cyberbullying and online harassment cause great harm to many people,” Kumova said in a statement Sunday.

“It’s never good, but it’s especially harmful if anonymously vomited from behind a keyboard. I filed a lawsuit in federal court to defend myself against an online campaign by an anonymous social media troll. “

Mr. Kumova said many people “were not in a position to be able to deal with an international legal case”.

“I am, and I decided to do it because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “When too much is too much.”

Mr. Davison tweeted on Sunday: “In the last few days I have received a statement stating that I had charged that Tolga Kumova engaged in internal operations. Let me be clear. It was not and never was my intention, inference or thought. I apologize to Tolga for any pain caused. “

He has yet to present a defense.

The matter will be reviewed in NSW Federal Court by Judge Geoffrey Flick and is scheduled for mention on September 30th.

frank.chung@news.com.au

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