Fraudulent calumny relates to situations where a person dishonestly poisons the mind of a testator against a potential beneficiary, thereby depriving them of a legacy.
In the case of Christodoulides v Marcou, the High Court held that the daughter of the testator had committed fraudulent calumny against her sister by falsely claiming that her sibling had stolen from her mother. As a result, the testator changed her Will only days before she died, leaving her full estate to the daughter making the fraudulent claim.
The High Court concluded that the Will had been fraudulently procured and held that the estate should be administered through intestacy law. An appeal against the ruling was refused, with the judge stating: “The calumny must induce the change in the testator’s intentions. The challenger must prove that on the balance of probabilities.”