Why? Because the search giant had posted images linked to his name on Google Images, implying that he was a criminal. Milorad “Michael” Trkulja was victorious in a similar case against Yahoo in March 2012, where he won A$250,000 ($233,000). The Victoria Supreme Court’s Justice David Beach is expected to rule on damages next week.
Trkulja, who has lived in Australia for 42 years, was shot in the back by a masked man while at a restaurant in the Melbourne suburbs in 2004.
Subsequently, searches on Google Images brought up pictures of himself and other people—alleged murderers and drug traffickers—with his name listed below. Trkulja argued the caption “Melbourne Crime” (which was the name of the now-defunct website that had published the photos) might lead some Internet users to believe he was a criminal.
According to the BBC, Trkulja also complained the first hit as part of a Google search on his name was this sentence: “Former music promoter Michael Trkulja was shot in the back by a hitman wearing a balaclava while dining at a St. Albans restaurant in June 2004.”
The man from the former Yugoslavia said this established a “false innuendo” that a hitman had been hired to kill him—and that others had deliberately avoided contact with him in public as a result.