Agri Minister sues Peter Ramsaroop, Channel 7
Presidential hopeful, Peter Ramsaroop, and WRHM Channel 7, has been sued for $10M followed a taped show earlier this month in which Minister of Agricultural, Robert Persaud, claimed he was libeled.
Justice Brassington Reynolds on Tuesday granted an injunction barring the channel and Ramsaroop from repeating the libel which was allegedly made on November 7 during an interview on the “Eye on the Issues” programme hosted by businessman, Yesu Persaud.
The Minister, in his claims, is asking for damages in excess of $10M.
According to court documents filed by attorneys-at-law Anil Nandlall, Euclin Gomes and Manoj Narayan, Ramsaroop and representatives of Property Holdings Inc., the business name of WRHM Channel 7, will have to appear in court on January 11, 2011.
Minister Persaud, in a sworn affidavit, argued that “Eye On The Issues” is a programme broadcast on Channel 7 on Sunday evenings, and commands a very wide and popular viewership.
However, on November 7, Ramsaroop insinuated that the Minister is corrupt and used words that suggested that he is “using public funds and taxpayers money and funds emanating from the Government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy” to build his house.
From Ramsaroop’s statements on the programme, Persaud claimed that he understood it to mean that he is dishonest and “that I have committed malfeasance in public office” and “that I am guilty of fraud and other kindred criminal offences”.
The Minister claimed that the “libel” caused him and his family to suffer grave embarrassment, trauma, odium and public ridicule.
“Additionally, my reputation has been seriously injured and my stations as Minister of Agriculture, Member of Parliament and a political leader have been severely tarnished.”
According to the Minister in the court documents, the Host of the programme, Yesu Persaud, has since issued a public apology which was published in the daily newspapers.
According to Minister Persaud, he has the means to pay any damages the Respondents/Defendants may suffer if it is subsequently determined that the injunction was wrongly granted.
“I am the owner of a property located at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara, and a motor vehicle, whose accumulated value estimate in excess of five million dollars and I therefore have sufficient means to satisfy any award of damages that this Honourable Court may award against me.”