Granger slaps newspapers with $2 billion defamation lawsuit

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…Kit Nascimento also sued 

 

Claiming that his reputation was tarnished, former President David Granger has mounted a monster $2.6 billion lawsuit against Guyana Times, Stabroek News, Kaieteur News, and Public Relations Specialist Christopher “Kit” Nascimento. The 135-paged Statement of Claim was filed by Granger’s lawyer, Roysdale Forde, SC, and has been lodged at the High Court in Georgetown.

In the lawsuit, the former President alleged that he was defamed in letters sent to the newspapers’ editors by Nascimento relating to the March 2020 General and Regional Elections and the events that unfolded after. Apart from the billion-dollar award for damages, Granger wants the Court to grant him aggravated and exemplary damages, interest, costs, and any such further or other orders the Court deems.

The lawsuit accuses Nascimento of launching and sustaining a series of defamatory attacks from March 2020 to August 2020 against Granger through opinion pieces that were published by the newspapers.

According to Granger’s counsel, the attacks were “relentless and displayed a complete disregard for the truth.” Granger said the publications suggested that he was of unsound mind, a liar, involved in criminal and illegal activities and practices, and unfit to be the President of Guyana.

Moreover, he said that the pieces penned by the PR Specialist inferred that he was not innocent of any attempt to force a fraud on the country, that he lied to the people of Guyana and the APNU/AFC, and that he wanted to remain in Government regardless of the expressed will of the people at those elections.

Denies

The former President said he denies accusations that he encouraged and or supported efforts to move to the Courts inclusive of the Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice to deny the Guyana Elections Commission Chairperson, Justice retired Claudette Singh of her authority to produce the election results.

He also denies that he is dishonest, deceitful, habitually hypocritical, of dubious credibility, and wanted to remain in office as President to rule without any regard or care regardless of the consequences to Guyana. Granger further denies that he used invented irregularities to claim a victory for himself as President and the APNU/AFC at the national elections and refused to accept the election results.

He is denying that he permitted his Attorney General [Basil Williams], to argue that the Recount Order was illegal and that he, along with his lawyers attempted to throw out the recount he agreed to abide by. Additionally, he has rejected accusations that he permitted Williams to argue that GECOM’s Chairman was obligated to accept the declaration made by Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield.

According to the former President’s lawyer, during the election period, his client made several public broadcasts to the nation in which he communicated to the nation, the Diplomatic Community, and Civil Society that: “As President of Guyana and Leader of the Government it is my policy that any declaration coming from the Chairman of GECOM will be accepted by the Government of Guyana.”

The Senior Counsel submitted that following the declaration of another candidate as the winner of the elections, his client accepted the said declaration “as he always stated that he would accept any declaration coming from the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.”

Suffered

As a result of the publications, Granger claims that he and his family have suffered and continue to suffer financial injury, constant grave distress, humiliation, embarrassment, indignity, pain, and suffering. Besides damaging his character and reputation, he claims, too, that the “statements have no basis in fact, are malicious, grossly inaccurate and intended to deceive the public.”

“The effect of the publications were intended to and calculated to damage the reputation of [Granger] and expose him to unwarranted hatred, ridicule, vilification, and contempt….The effect of the publications was intended to and calculated to also disparage the record of [Granger] as the President of Guyana and as an honest person,” Forde contends.

“As a result of the said headlines and articles and its dissemination, online and offline [Granger’s] personal and professional reputation and standing has been irreparably and severely damaged, lowered in the estimation of right-thinking members of society and [Granger] has suffered and continues to suffer financial injury, constant distress, humiliation, embarrassment, indignity, pain, and suffering.”

Having regards to the foregoing, the Senior Counsel is asking the Court to grant the orders prayed for in the claim as well as substantial costs. In the meantime, Granger has applied for injunctions to restrain
Nascimento and the newspapers whether by themselves or servants and or agents from posting, printing, publishing, sharing, recording or otherwise recreating and disseminating the letters.

The former Head of State is also seeking a mandatory injunction compelling the newspapers whether by themselves, their servants, and or agents to forthwith permanently remove the letter to the editors in their online edition. The lawsuit is yet to be assigned to a Judge.