SYDNEY – The High Court of Australia allowed on Wednesday a defamation suit against Google for allegedly linking a person’s name to the criminal world in Melbourne in its search engine.
Milorad Trkulja, who was shot in the back in 2004 during a wave of murders by the city’s mafia groups, first sued the tech giant in 2012 for publishing his images in searches related to the underworld.
After winning the case, Trkulja filed another case against Google over the search engine’s autocomplete function, which suggested his name with words such as “criminal” and “underworld.”
The fresh case was rejected by the Court of Appeal in Victoria, which was followed by an appeal at the High Court that led to the current judgment accepting there were grounds for possible defamation.
“The Court held that it was evident that at least some of the search results complained of had the capacity to convey to an ordinary reasonable person viewing the search results that the appellant was somehow associated with the Melbourne criminal underworld,” read the High Court judgment.