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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The defamation trial of plaintiff Aly Nazerali versus the Deep Capture website heard testimony on Tuesday morning from one of Mr. Nazerali's family friends, Sam Hirji. The court also heard transcripts of two pretrial interviews with defendant Patrick Byrne. Mr. Byrne publishes Deep Capture and is also the chief executive officer of Overstock.com, an on-line retailer and yet another defendant. Overstock regularly approved payments to Deep Capture, stated Mr. Byrne.
The lawsuit revolves around 21 chapters that Mr. Nazerali read on the Deep Capture website in the summer of 2011. He complains that the chapters falsely accused him of being a gangster, arms dealer, market manipulator and more. Mark Mitchell, who wrote the chapters, is another defendant in the case. He and all the other defendants except Overstock are represented by Roger McConchie. Overstock is represented by Stephen Schachter.
Mr. Nazerali's lawyer, Dan Burnett, began the morning by briefly taking the court through a September, 2013, interview with Mr. Byrne. Mr. Burnett asked about postings Mr. Byrne made on websites other than Deep Capture. For example, a posting on Yahoo Finance on Nov. 17, 2011 -- about a month after Mr. Nazerali won an injunction that temporarily shut Deep Capture down -- warned, "All goombas should understand that the day that anything untoward occurs is the day that The Collected Works of Mark Mitchell 2008-2011 appears in the in-boxes of 41.7 million people." Mr. Burnett asked Mr. Byrne what was meant by anything untoward. Mr. Byrne replied that he had begun receiving "very overt threats from the Mafia." He was then asked whether he considered Mr. Nazerali a goomba. No, replied Mr. Byrne, because goombas are violent. Instead, "I would call Aly Nazerali a miscreant."
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