Holness tells Phillips to apologise or face lawsuit

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Print this page Email A Friend!




ATTORNEY-AT-LAW George Soutar yesterday wrote Finance Minister Peter Phillips, as well as lawyers for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, accusing them of defaming Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and, in Dr Phillips’ case, demanding an apology within three days and payment to a children’s charity to be named by Holness as compensation for loss and damages.

In his letter to Phillips, Soutar said that on February 12 he and the People’s National Party (PNP) caused to be published in The Gleaner, statements concerning Holness.


Soutar explained that Phillips’ statements were, in his view, "by implication and/or innuendo", defamatory to his client.


Soutar said that the entire statement was defamatory but, for the purpose of the letter, he highlighted one aspect, under the headline "Construction of House", which made certain statements concerning Holness’ purchase of the land and the construction of his dwelling house thereon.


"These statements sought to suggest or impute that Mr Holness purchased the land and is carrying out construction thereon using funds that were obtained dishonestly, illicitly, illegally, and corruptly," Soutar told Phillips.


"These statements will tend to have the effect of lowering Mr Holness’ character in the eyes of well-thinking people. The damage has been made worse, because you have repeated these statements in a press conference held on the said 12th day of February, 2016 and repeated in several editions of The Gleaner and Observer newspapers," Soutar stated.


He said that his letter served to demand that: (a) within three days of its receipt, Dr Phillips must publish a suitably worded apology, giving it prominence, equal to that of the defamatory statements to be approved by his client; and (b) that Phillips pay an agreed sum to a children’s charity chosen by Holness. He said that this payment would be treated as compensation for the loss and damages suffered by Holness.


"If I do not receive a positive response from you, I have instructions to file action against you, seeking damages and other vindicatory reliefs as may be ordered by the court," he wrote.


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT