Bribery claims against business leader Wal King dropped
A FORMER Copmanhurst man who who rose to become one of Australia's leading businessmen and was at the centre of a of bribery allegations in the media in 2013 has received an unreserved apology and retraction from Fairfax Media.
Advertisements apologising to former Leightons Holding CEO Wal King appeared in a number of Fairfax papers on Tuesday including the Australian Financial Review and Sydney Morning Herald.
In a statement issued this week, Mr King said Fairfax has agreed to issue him with an apology and public retraction over false allegations made against him in several Fairfax publications, including The Australian Financial Review, in October 2013.
A copy of a statement that acknowledges that Fairfax has agreed to pay Mr King an agreed amount by way of settlement for damages and legal costs is attached.
Commenting on the apology and retraction Mr King said: "I always knew that the facts would justify my claims that the allegations against me were false. It is unfortunate and regrettable that this whole process has taken so long.
"I can now concentrate on my business interests without the distraction of what was a baseless and highly defamatory attack on my reputation."
Mr Michael Sophocles, the head of litigation at the law firm representing Mr King, Atanaskovic Hartnell, said the firm always believed that Mr King would be vindicated.
"We were always confident that the jury would find for Mr King when the case came to be heard later this year, but it is pleasing that Mr King and Fairfax have reached agreement earlier, and as things turned out, with a retraction and apology by Fairfax along the lines initially proposed by Mr King way back in October 2013."
Mr King was the chief executive of Leighton Holdings, now known as CIMIC Group, from 1987 until his retirement on 31 December 2010.
He is a non-executive director of Coca Cola Amatil, Deputy chairman of University of New South Wales Foundation Limited and a Director of Kimberley Foundation Australia Limited.