By Duncan Mackay

John Furlong has denied allegations by journalist Laura Robinson that he physically and verbally abused former students ©Toronto Star via Getty ImagesDecember 9 - Former Vancouver 2010 President and chief executive John Furlong should have to put up $100,000 (£61,000/€73,000) surety to prove he can pay legal costs if he loses a case alleging that he physically and verbally abused British Columbia students more than 40 years ago, a freelance journalist has asked a judge in Canada. 

The procedural application, which relied on a rarely used section of law that has only been used twice in more than a century, largely focused instead on what Laura Robinson's lawyer described as the "bitter" feud between the pair.

Robinson wrote an article for the Georgia Straight newspaper published in September 2012, quoting several people who claimed to have been taught by Furlong in Burns Lake and Prince George, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The former students were quoted alleging Furlong verbally and physically abused them.

Furlong has denied the allegations and subsequently sued Robinson and the newspaper for libel.

He recently dropped the Georgia Straight as a defendant and has promised to "escalate" his legal action against the reporter.

Robinson's lawyer claimed Furlong should be forced to put up the $100,000 (£61,000/€73,000) security because he has not demonstrated he could pay her legal costs if he eventually loses the case.

Furlong's lawyer, in turn, argued Robinson had failed to satisfy the criteria for such an order, set out in a 122-year-old provision of British Columbia's defamation law.

Among the criteria for such an order is that the defendant acted in "good faith." Furlong's lawyer, John Hunter, argued Robinson did not.

"Mr Furlong has been severely defamed, everyone in British Columbia knows that," Hunter told the court.

"Mr Furlong is of the view that this was all done in bad faith.

"It was all done maliciously."

Hunter claimed Robinson was engaging in a vendetta against Furlong and that was a pattern of 
harassment against him.

As evidence to back this up, Hunter offered the fact Robinson has included several more damaging allegations, including abuse involving former wives, in her court filings.

He claimed those new allegations as an abuse of the system, since the contents of court documents are considered privileged and immune from libel lawsuits.

None of the allegations against either Furlong or Robinson have been proven in court.

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January 2013:Furlong faces new allegations after court documents filed