The first tweet Mr Kumova complained about from September 2019 said: “Inside Trading alive and thriving on the $ASX Pirate ship. $EUC, err cough cough, A Tolga Kumova special, , goes into Trading halt to explain a 33% spoke in sp , and … Oh, …err…a material acquisition that they forgot to tell the market about .”
Mr Kumova told the court on Wednesday that people became more interested in what the Stock Swami account was tweeting because it made criminal allegations.
“A lot of the fund managers that I did used to deal with just stopped returning calls. I can’t put it down to much else, except for when they start to get obsessive,” he said.
The investor denies all the allegations made in the tweets and is seeking general and aggravated damages from Mr Davison for an ongoing campaign and failure to publish an apology or retraction once informed of factual errors in the matters complained of in June 2020.
In an opening statement, Sue Chrysanthou, SC, who is representing Mr Kumova dismissed the contextual truth, justification, honest opinion, and truth defenses of Mr Davison.
More specifically, Ms Chrysanthou dismissed defense pleadings that certain forms of insider trading are excused under the Corporations Act and that Mr Davison’s tweets didn’t convey the meaning of unlawful insider trading.
“We say the ordinary understanding of any reader of the term insider trading would involve prohibited or unlawful conduct in the trading of shares,” Ms Chrysanthou said. Later telling the court, “When it comes to insider trading as far as the ordinary person is concerned it wouldn’t just considered to be prohibited, it would be considered to be criminal.”
Under examination, Mr Kumova argued the insider trading inferences damaged his career. “You say that to someone in my industry, in my position. It’s a big deal,” he said. “If I heard that you, the judge, or someone, one of the people in this room that I deal with is called an insider trader, I would just not take their phone call. I would never say anything. I’d stay away. In my business, it’s all about people. It’s all about relationships. It’s all about trust.”
The examination of Mr Kumova is set to continue on Thursday.