Monday 26 August 2019

INM takes legal case against ex-CEO

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Independent News and Media (INM) has initiated a High Court action against its former chief executive Robert Pitt.

The company lodged proceedings on Friday, court records show, but no further details of the case were included in the filing.

A spokesman for INM - which publishes the Sunday Independent - said the company had no comment to make. Pitt, who left INM in October 2017, made a protected disclosure to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), which prompted an inquiry.

The ODCE probe led to the appointment of High Court inspectors to investigate the alleged interrogation of INM data, including that of journalists, staff and directors, by outside parties in 2014.

The inspectors are also investigating claims that senior INM executives came under pressure from former chairman Leslie Buckley in 2016 to pay an inflated price for Newstalk, a radio station owned by Denis O'Brien, INM's largest shareholder. The purchase was abandoned. Mr Buckley denies any wrongdoing, while Mr O'Brien has yet to comment.

Claims were later made to the Data Protection Commissioner that Pitt had ordered a search of the computers of up to six editors in 2015. Mr Pitt has declined to comment.

Sunday Independent

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