Travelzest is undeterred by libel lawsuit

TOUR operator group Travelzest is pressing ahead with its investigation into the alleged theft of company money, despite a defamation lawsuit filed by founder and former chief executive Chris Mottershead.<br /><br />Mottershead launched libel proceedings last week, almost a month after the group announced it had suspended him pending the outcome of an investigation into &ldquo;a potential misappropriation of company funds&rdquo;.<br /><br />Schillings, the law firm acting for Mottershead, has described the allegations as &ldquo;extremely serious and defamatory&rdquo;.<br /><br />But a Travelzest spokeswoman said yesterday that the firm continued to pursue the investigation despite the legal proceedings and would make an announcement as soon as possible.<br /><br />Travelzest&rsquo;s resolve will disappoint Mottershead, who is said to be keen to put the matter behind him in order to pursue other opportunities in the sector. European tour operator giant TUI Travel, which approached Mottershead shortly before his suspension about running its Canadian division, admitted last week that the offer had been withdrawn.<br /><br />Mottershead said yesterday he was &ldquo;in discussions with a number of parties&rdquo; about future job opportunities, but that &ldquo;nothing concrete&rdquo; had yet been agreed. He declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.