The defendant (the alleged defamer) must prove that every part of the material is substantially true. For example, a person who says that someone is a murderer must prove the fact of murder. Where defamatory matter carries several imputations it is a defence if the reputation of the plaintiff is not harmed beyond damage caused from those of the imputations which are true [Defamation Act 2005 s 24]. For example, if a publication suggests that a professional person has deceived a client and has taken a client’s money and only one of the imputations is true that may be sufficient to defend the whole publication.
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