Vaz alleges David Rowe is the e-mail man; files libel suit

Friday, April 20, 2012

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JAMAICAN-BORN Florida attorney David Rowe is the man fingered by Daryl Vaz, the former information minister, as the author of the widely distributed hate-mail that Vaz said libelled him and several other high-profile Jamaican politicians and businessmen, and over which he has sued for damages in Broward County, Florida.

Rowe immediately filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and hit back through his attorney that Vaz was getting back at him for testifying on behalf of Abe Dabdoub in the first of a series of dual citizenship cases resulting in Vaz's loss of United States citizenship.

Vaz last week went to the Complex Litigation Section of the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County to complain about what he said was "Rowe's malicious intent to ruin" his reputation and good image.

In court documents filed April 13, 2012, Vaz alleged:

"The defamation occurred through March 13, 2012 e-mail transmissions sent by Defendant Rowe, a member of the Florida Bar who practises in the State of Florida, fabricated and published a document which purported to be an official 'US Law Enforcement Memo to Turks and Caicos Special Investigation and Prosecutions Team' and which made direct accusations of bribery, money laundering, corruption and close affiliations with a notorious convicted drug lord."

In the documents, Vaz also alleged that Rowe has "over the past several years... engaged in a vicious smear campaign to defame reputable prominent Jamaican officials and businessmen".

Vaz is represented by Florida attorney Jennifer Cohen Glasser of Akerman Senterfitt.

For his part, Rowe in his April 17, 2012 motion to dismiss, said Vaz had failed to state a cause of action on which relief may be granted and also failed to establish subject matter jurisdiction.

He denied being the author of the document in question, saying he first saw it "in a communication received from the US Homeland Department".

"The said correspondence, among others, is absolutely privileged," Rowe insisted.

Rowe is being represented by Florida attorney, Jamaican-born David Brown.

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