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Bunting goes after Shaw for payment in defamation suit

PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator — Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, February 05, 2013    

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THE reported failure on the part of former Finance Minister Audley Shaw to honour a $2-million settlement from a defamation lawsuit has led to further legal action against him by Security Minister Peter Bunting.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court approved an application from Bunting's legal team from Michael Hylton and Associates to enforce the mediation order.

The order, agreed last year, called for Shaw to pay over to Bunting by September $400,000 in legal costs and $1 million in damages. Shaw was to start making payment on a further $1 million by January of this year. To date, no payments have been made.

Bunting filed his lawsuit in late 2011 after Shaw made certain statements against him at two public meetings, a month before the general election in December of that year.

The statements were made at a Jamaica Labour Party Area Council Three meeting at Manchester High School and on November 16 in Runaway Bay, St Ann.

Bunting contended that the statements were false and libelous.

But in July last year, Bunting's People's National Party announced in a statement that the matter had been settled.

As part of the settlement, Shaw agreed to issue a public apology and to pay damages to Bunting.

In light of yesterday's ruling, Bunting can now take action to secure the money agreed. His legal team said that a decision has not been taken as to the next course of action.

Possible options include obtaining an order to seize from Shaw assets in the equivalent to the money owed.

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