The 22-year-old man who moved to challenge the injunction that bars him from publishing in the print or electronic
media, any material relating to allegations made against Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman, saw his efforts rejected in court yesterday.
Chief Justice (Ag) Ian Chang was unmoved by the petition Johnny Antony Welshman submitted against the week-old injunction and advised that he seek professional assistance.
Welshman is the 22-year-old who is accusing the Speaker of sexually molesting him over ten years ago; an allegation which Trotman has vehemently denied, asserting that it is a political plot.
An injunction was granted last Monday (September 22) by the Chief Justice (Ag) ordering Welshman to remove all malicious content from his Facebook page. Welshman moved to the High Court yesterday however, seeking to have the injunction filed against him by Trotman, discharged.
The Chief Justice yesterday ruled that the injunction, which prevents Welshman from publishing or speaking about the issue in the public or on his Facebook Page, stays.
Welshman represented himself in the case while Trotman’s attorney, Nigel Hughes was present. The acting Chief Justice advised the 22-year-old to seek legal representation or advice as it pertains to what is expected of him with respect to complying with the rules of the court.
Shortly after the hearing, Welshman indicated to members of the media that he is sticking to his story.
He said “They fabricated lies with innuendos but it’s the truth, I know it’s the truth. So far one has been arrested. It’s just that they want to play hard ball. I am ready to play hardball.”
Asked why he waited ten years to surface with these allegations and whether he had an ulterior motive, Welshman defended “This is not politically motivated…This is not political. How could it be political?”
He argued that it was the Speaker who mentioned “politics.” According to him, that was done in an effort to “shove this
under the rock.” Welshman contended that if his allegations were politically motivated, he would have at this point had “ten barges of attorneys.”
He said he will be suing media houses who have said that he was picked up by government officials.
“So what I am asking to this media house is to play your tape or whatever you have or you will receive a pre-action protocol letter from my attorney when he gets here…I am ready. I am ready, big time,” Welshman boasted.
In his Ex Parte Affidavit in support of the application for the injunction, Trotman has also sought damages in excess of $50 million for libel contained in statements allegedly made by Welshman and published in the Stabroek News, Guyana Times and on Welshman’s Facebook page.
When asked if he was prepared to pay $50M, Welshman insisted that he wouldn’t lose this case and is willing to move to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and if necessary the Privy Council. He said “This case has gotten international attention and I am ready for the fight.”
The 22-year-old noted that he has an interview planned at the Pegasus Hotel with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and CCN 3.
“The injunction doesn’t bar me from doing international meetings, so I am going to have a press conference with CCN3 and also with BBC at Pegasus today (yesterday). They are international broadcasters and I am not barred from that,” Welshman said.
The young man also denied that his actions are a desperate bid for attention.
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