After defaming Mr Trkulja with your "no smoke without fire" comment, you have the gall to claim "Nobody with a brain would possibly connect Mr. Trkulja with the criminals involved" with a straight face? Don't you have a brain, then?
Then you constructed a strawman to maul, dressed it in a 1960's pink dress and took your argument to absurdities.
You then defamed Mr Trkulja YET AGAIN (twice in one post) with "it looks like Mr. Trkulja's actual problem is clinical Paranoia". So "clinical paranoia" is your considered diagnosis Dr. jake? I assume that your psychiatric qualifications are in addition to your implied law degree. After all jake QC knows better than a Supreme Court judge in matters of defamation.
Sequence of events:
1) Melbourne was in the middle of a gang war in which crime figures were being murdered execution style, often in public places such as restaurants.
2) Mr Trkulja was a prominent and well known member of the Australian Yugoslav community. He was having a meal with his elderly mother when a gunman walked in and shot him in the back before the gun jammed and fled the scene.
3) The police investigated the shooting and Mr Trkulja and found that he was not engaged in criminal activity, he had no connection to the gangland murders and they could not identify a motive for the shooting.
4) An enthusiast website called "Melbourne Crime" (now defunct) that followed the gang war and published the twists and turns, published an article about the gangland wars that contained photos of many of the notorious criminals involved and links to other articles. IMMEDIATELY BELOW this article there was another one from 2007 about Mr Trkulja going to the police with additional information about the shooting and asking that the investigation be re-opened. Yahoo 7 republished the articles.
5) Now, it is likely that the placement was completely accidental, but the positioning of such an article directly below one about notorious underworld shootings would lead the reader to wonder if Mr Trkulja and his shooting had some connection.
6) Google, being all not-evil I'm sure, trawled the page with its mindless bots and indexed the data as a single document. Now Mr Trkulja and his image was linked to Mokbel, Williams, et al, so that when you punched "melbourne crime" into Google, his image popped up amongst all the thugs and murderers like he was in some kind of perp line up. Nice.
7) Mr Trkulja started to notice that his community began to look at him differently and make comments about his criminal associations. It seems his innocence wasn't quite so obvious to the casual viewer, eh?
9) Now a formerly prominent and active member of the community was being frozen out of his social circle. I think it is quite natural that he was very upset.
9) He went to Yahoo7 and asked for the defaming article to be removed. They said "not our material" and "hop it!".
10) He went to Google and asked for the defaming images to be removed. They said "you didn't fill out the form properly, so no" and then "smell you later".
11) Having not had his grievances addressed by either company, he went to the only option left open and filed a defamation suit.
12) Yahoo didn't provide a defence against defamation. They argued that although they did publish the article, it wasn't their material and they weren't liable.
13) The jury and the judge disagreed, and found the article hosted by Yahoo A) implied that "the plaintiff was so involved with crime in Melbourne that his rivals had hired a hit man to murder him", and that B) implied that "the plaintiff is such a significant figure in the Melbourne criminal underworld that events involving him are recorded on a website that chronicles crime in Melbourne", but that it C) did not imply "the plaintiff is a criminal". Just that he was involved with crime, and that he was a prominent figure in the underworld. It seems the jury did SOME thinking about the implications and what parts were defamatory. The judge awarded Mr Trkulja $225,000+. The award was made higher because Yahoo made no attempt to remove the material.
14) The Google suit was slightly different, because it was just image of Mr Trkulja among Melbourne's criminal underworld. Once again, Google argued that it was not a publisher of the material and that all they do is automatically index the link.
14a) The judge dismissed the claim over the link because Mr Trkulja got it wrong in his application to have it removed.
14b) The jury found that Google did defame Mr Trkulja over the photo that grouped him with worst of Melbourne's criminal scum. Once Mr Trkulja informed Google of the defaming images, Google became liable for damages. All they had to do is break the context links associated with the image. They didn't even have to delete the image itself. By not taking the images down they defamed Mr Trkulja. Damages will announced in the next week or so.
Summary: Yahoo and Google were informed that they were hosting defaming material. They decided that because they didn't write the material, they didn't have liability and so didn't need to do anything. The law has now found that that is true up until the point that they are informed of it, then they are a responsible party to the content and they do have liability.
I hope that you can see the distinction: They aren't responsible for all information that passes through their servers, but they are once they become aware that the information infringes criminal or civil laws, they then are.
I know that this is a wall of text, but I hope you read all of it and appreciate better the circumstances of the case, and how impugning the sanity of Mr Trkulja and the integrity of the judge and jury isn't just unwarranted but also offensive. Often our first reaction isn't the correct one, and even the best articles leave out important details.