Sep 08, 2012 News
– Jagdeo’s lawyers absent
The libel case brought by former President Bharrat Jagdeo against Kaieteur News columnist Freddie Kissoon was yesterday stalled when Jagdeo’s team of lawyers was not available.
Race relations expert, Dr David Hinds, was flown into the country Thursday evening to be the first witness for the defense in the libel case. However, Jagdeo’s lead attorney Senior Counsel Bernard DeSantos had to attend a Court of Appeal matter and thus asked to be excused. Jagdeo’s other attorney Sase Gunraj, said he had no instructions to stand in the absence of the senior counsel.
Freddie Kissoon’s attorney Nigel Hughes wanted to commence the defence. Justice Brassington Reynolds was also willing to proceed with the case for the defence. After adjourning the matter to September 27, the judge tried to get Senior Counsel De Santos on phone to inquiry whether the court could proceed in his absence, but he could not. The absence of Jagdeo’s other lawyer compounded the issue.
Jagdeo wants $10 million from outspoken columnist Freddie Kissoon, the newspaper’s publisher Glenn Lall, and editor in chief Adam Harris. The subject of the libel case is a column written by Kissoon. It charged that the former President exercised ideological racism in performing his function as president.
Jagdeo’s team had closed its case on July 5. And now it’s time for Kaieteur News to lead its defence and it intends to go the whole nine yards to prove that Jagdeo’s term in office was characterized by a racist ideology. The defense team plans to call more than a dozen witnesses, with Dr David Hinds being the first.
Dr David Hinds is Assistant Professor of Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies at Arizona State University.
He has written two books on race relations in Guyana
Former President Jagdeo launched the libel case claiming that Kissoon’s article suggested that he is a racist and that “by extension, the State and Government of Guyana, practice racism as an ideology, dogma, philosophy and policy.”
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