Attorney General Anil Nandlall has issued a $30M libel suit against the Kaieteur News, its proprietor and editor-in-chief over alleged defamatory and misleading statements carried in the “Dem boys seh” column published on February 28 and March 2, 2014..
Nandlall moved to the court through his attorney, Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos yesterday after the newspaper didn’t publish a retraction and an apology.
According to court documents seen by this newspaper the Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris, owner Mohan Lall aka Glenn Lall and the National Media and Publishing Company Limited (Kaieteur News) were listed as the defendants.
Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang who heard the matter in chambers granted an interim injunction restraining the defendants from further publishing the said or any similar libel concerning Nandlall. The matter will be called in court again on March 13 at 11 am.
According to the indorsement of claim, Nandlall is seeking damages in excess of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) for libel contained in the column under the caption, “Tax Dollars Going to Sleep-In”, published by the Defendants on February 28.
He is also seeking damages in excess of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) for libel contained in a column styled, “Ah Kneel Deh Pun A Hustle”, published by the Defendants of March 2, 2014 as well as an injunction restraining them or their servants from further publishing the said or any similar libel about and concerning the Plaintiff.
Nandlall is also asking the court for aggravated or exemplary damages in excess of ten million dollars ($10,000,000).
The ex parte application by way of affidavit for an interim injunction stated that what was published was malicious and false. It stated that the first article conveyed the clear impression that he was dishonest and had engaged in an improper use of taxpayers’ dollars for his personal benefit and therefore was unfit to hold the offices of Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and a Member of Parliament.
The documents stated that the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Indira Anandjit sent a letter to Harris and same was published in the March 1 edition of the paper.
However on the following day, March 2, certain statements were maliciously published in the “Ah Kneel Deh Pun A Hustle” column. The documents said that again Nandlall was portrayed as dishonest and as instructing the permanent secretary to lie as a cover up.
“That the aforesaid libel was calculated to cause and did cause me great public embarrassment, held me up to odium and ridicule and to disparage me as the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Member of Parliament, both nationally and internationally”, the documents said.
It was stated too that another of Nandlall’s attorneys Sase Gunraj in a letter to Harris on March 2, called for a retraction of the statements made.
“This letter was blatantly ignored by the Respondents/Defendants who have refused and/or neglected to publish a retraction of the said statement and/or an apology”, the documents said adding that Harris had told the AG that the statements were published upon the instructions of Lall. There was a promise for a retraction and apology but none was published.