06/22/2015 14:27 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 01:12 EDT

Forlong had to respond to allegations of serious criminal acts: B.C. lawyer

VANCOUVER - A lawyer for John Furlong says his client was entitled to respond to the "sustained attacks" of a journalist whose articles contained allegations of physical abuse against First Nations students in northern British Columbia.John Hunter says the former Vancouver Olympics CEO had the legal right to defend himself against what he described as two incendiary articles that attacked Furlong's character.They were written in 2012 by Laura Robinson, who is suing Furlong for defamation in relation to comments he made after the stories were published.Hunter says he will argue that Robinson used her position as a journalist and the privilege of the courts to make untrue allegations that Furlong committed serious criminal acts.He says Furlong will testify about the impact the articles had on his life, including cancelled speaking engagements, a refusal to take on new commitments and psychological harm.Robinson's lawyer has told court that Furlong's decision to drop his own defamation case against the journalist meant her articles were true.