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Parker and Agostini drop cases

Robert Parker and and his former translator Hanna Agostini have dropped their respective court actions against each other.

The two cases, one civil brought by Parker against Agostini, and a second criminal case brought by Agostini against Parker, have both been dropped in the last month.

The first case was instigated by Parker for Agostini’s use of his Wine Advocate letterhead for invoices to the wine company Geens in 2002.

In an unrelated court case, but stemming from the same events, Agostini is facing charges of fraud and breach of trust in Bordeaux, with a judgement expected this week.

In this case, the prosecuting lawyer, Alain Benech, has demanded a suspended sentence of 18-24 months for Agostini’s part in the so-called ‘Geens affair’.

She is allegedly implicated in a wider fraud trial against the Dutch-Belgian Geens wine group, for which she consulted between 1999 and 2001.

She is accused of forgery and the use of forged documents for using Wine Advocate headed notepaper on nine invoices, totally €13,000.

In September, with that trial due to begin in Bordeaux on 14 October, Parker dropped his civil case against her.

In a letter seen by decanter.com, dated September 14, Parker said, ‘having understood the particulars of the case… (he had) … no complaint against Hanna Agostini’, and was desisting from pursuing his claim.

This was followed by Agostini dropping her own case against Parker – a criminal libel charge claiming that Parker made defamatory remarks about her on his website in November 2007.

Agostini had already won one civil defamation case against Parker, when a judge ruled in March 2008 that Parker had violated Agostini’s ‘presumption of innocence’ and fined him €2,000.

The second case, of criminal libel, was due to be heard in Paris on Friday November 6th, but the case has now been withdrawn.

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Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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