The court found that publication of Besser’s article led Adam and Charif to unleash a barrage of abuse against Mr David and his family.
It was discovered that Adam Kazal and another man, both carrying dumbbells, had threatened Mr David’s father John, an 82-year-old wealthy Sydney businessman, demanding $150million and shouting in his face, “You robbed us of you c—. I’m back in Australia now. I’m gonna get you”. Passers-by intervened and Adam and his companion left.
The police warned Adam Kazal to arrest. But, as Judge Rares found, “the police warning did not deter Adam from continuing his thuggish behavior.” Two days later he visited Mr David’s business premises and ‘reiterated his demands and threats’.
John David, who has since died, was granted an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) restraining Adam from assaulting, harassing or intimidating him.
At the same time the HeraldThe journalist was also threatened by Adam Kazal both at the newspaper’s offices and at Besser’s home, where his wife was alone with their two young children. The police suggested Besser look for an AVO, but he didn’t.
When this reporter later wrote about Adam Kazal, for 314 days Kazal sent abusive and aggressive emails. One of those emails, which Kazal posted online, later landed him in jail.
Although Rodric David and his family moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to escape harassment and start a new life, the brothers’ relentless pursuit of the family continued via tweets and constant false accusations on the website of Kazal Family Story. They suggested Mr. David was a fraudster who stole $180 million from the Kazals and paid Besser millions of dollars to write lies about the family. These allegations were all baseless, the judge concluded.
Court orders ordering Adam and Sharif to stop were ignored. Early in the morning of October 2016, Liz David left the family home in Los Angeles, which they had been careful not to mention anywhere. “It was dark outside but she saw a car full of men slowly pass their house and slowly return,” Judge Rares said.
The court heard that Adam Kazal had picketed their home and business with placards bearing Mr David’s face and alleging he was a ‘corporate thief’. They also chanted: “Rodric the thief”. Back in Sydney, vans carrying the same lies were circulating in the CBD and the eastern suburbs.
Not only was Adam Kazal jailed for ignoring court orders, but Judge Rares said he should pay the bulk of the $1.512 million awarded to Mr David.
Judge Rares has yet to finalize costs in the case and has requested submissions for a permanent injunction to stop the brothers from continuing their campaign of harassment.