Legal fund for Paul Kimmage’s legal battle with UCI becomes unavailable
Money moved from Paypal account by one of the fund’s administrators
Paul Kimmage: “Extremely disappointed”.
Almost $65,000 held for Paul Kimmage’s legal defence against cycling’s governing body, the UCI, appears to be unavailable to the Irish journalist.
The cash has been moved from a PayPal account by a fund administrator.
Last autumn the websites nyvelocity.com and cyclismas.com set up a defence fund to help Kimmage after he was sued by former UCI president Hein Verbruggen and UCI chief Pat McQuaid. They claimed they were defamed by articles in the Sunday Times and L’Equipe .
A total of $21,000 was paid from the fund in legal costs but the bulk remained for Kimmage to use.
Verbruggen and McQuaid suspended their case last October but reserve the right to relaunch it.
While trying to settle a tax bill in relation to the fund, cyclismas editor Lesli Cohen discovered that the site’s co-founder Aaron Brown had moved the cash into another account.
Kimmage said a request from him to Brown to provide transaction details had been refused, as had the release of the funds into a neutral account.
“I am extremely disappointed,” said Kimmage. “I have contacted Cedric [his Swiss lawyer Cédric Aguet] to tell him . . . to suspend what he is doing on the case because I am not in a position to pay him.”
Kimmage had meant to countersue the UCI, but may now have to suspend that action.
Brown told The Irish Times yesterday that almost $65,000 remained after Paypal costs and other charges, but that he is currently attempting to settle the tax bill imposed on Cohen.
“If the funds are released to Paul, and I do receive a tax bill which is quite huge, then there is a massive challenge,” he said.
Brown added that if Kimmage faced more legal costs that the fund would cover them.
However the journalist has said that he has no guarantees of that. “It could be that the money is still there. If so, that is great, but what if it is not?”