Former Domainz CEO Patrick O'Brien may have decamped to Singapore - but his controversial defamation suit against Alan Brown is still going to court.
Brown, who is alleged to have defamed O'Brien in a posting to the Internet Society of New Zealand (Isocnz) members' mailing list in December 1999, has been told that the case will be heard in the Palmerston North District Court on May 3.
Brown says that although O'Brien's action appears to still be being funded by his former employer, Isocnz, he has no means of defending the suit.
O'Brien's lawsuit and its subsequent backing by the Isocnz board outraged many internet users when it was taken last year. Along with the trouble-prone Domainz Registry System, it led to a changing of the guard on the Isocnz board and contributed to O'Brien's departure to run Singapore's domain name registry.
Brown says he has not spoken to anyone from Isocnz recently, but says the board could cut its losses - legal bills are understood to have reached about $60,000 - "by saying, we're sorry, we were misled by the former CEO. We made our decision on the basis of false information."
Isocnz spokespeople could not be reached over the weekend.