Paul Slowe to pay SOCU Head $10M for defamation

L-R: Fazil Karimbaksh and Paul Slowe

Former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paul Slowe was today ordered to pay $10 million to Head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) Fazil Karimbaksh for defamation.

It was reported that between November 2, 2021 and January 12, 2022, Slowe on his Facebook and YouTube pages published several defamatory words about the Claimant.

Slowe, in his show ‘Exposing Corruption and Incompetence’ said, among other things that the Head of SOCU was unqualified, a political puppet, guilty of sexual offences and that he was complicit in the shooting of a young boy in Berbice.

As such, Karimbaksh had secured a High Court injunction, which prohibits the former cop from referring to him as “corrupt, incompetent, unprofessional, unfit and vindictive”. He had also filed a $70 million lawsuit against Slowe.

In her ruling on Friday, Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall concluded that Slowe intentionally and repeatedly presented the information in his videos as truth as opposed to an opinion or a comment.

The Judge observed that Slowe had in fact, created his Facebook Page ‘Speaking Out’ after he was charged and appeared before the Magistrate’s Court. The Judge also found that Slowe’s publications appeared to have been motivated by the fact that he was charged as opposed to any genuine public interest.

Slowe, former Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), had been suspended in October 2021 and was later slapped with fraud and sexual assault charges.

However, Justice Ramlall during her ruling found that Slowe failed to establish any of his defence of justification or fair comment on a matter of public importance and acted maliciously.

The Court nevertheless awarded damages to the tune of $10 million as well as a permanent injunction preventing him from publishing any further defamatory words of and concerning the Karimbaksh. In addition, he was ordered to pay costs in the sum of $300,000 by July 28, 2024.