The Guyana National Newspapers Limited which publishes the Guyana Chronicle has temporarily agreed not to publish in part or whole any material that was reflected in two articles for which the newspaper was sued.
This followed an application by Clifton Bacchus, the owner of Sleep-In, for injunctions. Yesterday the Application for injunctions in the legal proceedings filed by Bacchus of Sleepin Hotel, Pasha Global Inc. and Yokohama Trading Company Inc., against the Guyana National Newspapers Limited, the publishers of the Guyana Chronicle and its Editor, Nigel Williams, came up for hearing before Justice Sandel Kissoon.
Attorneys at law, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Manoj Narayan and Rajendra Jaigobin are representing the Applicants, while the Chronicle and its editors are being represented by Attorney General, Basil Williams.
In these proceedings, which are being heard together, the Applicants are seeking separate injunctions restraining the Chronicle from further publishing certain alleged libelous materials, which the newspaper published on August 15, 2017 and again on August 17, 2017, on its front pages, of and concerning the Applicants.
The applicants, Bacchus of Sleepin Hotel, Pasha Global Inc and Yokohama Trading Company Inc, are contending that the publications are libelous and have caused them loss, damage and grave public embarrassment.
They fear that unless restrained, the Chronicle will continue to publish the same or similar allegations of and concerning them.
The hearing was adjourned to November, 3, when full legal arguments will be presented by both sides.
Yesterday, Williams and the Chairperson of the Guyana National Newspapers Limited, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, gave an undertaking to the Court that the Guyana Chronicle shall not publish the same or any similar matters of and concerning the Applicants until the hearing is concluded. An undertaking by the Respondents in these circumstances has the same legal effect as if the injunctions sought were granted.
On August 15, 2017, the Guyana Chronicle published an article stating that the Gaming Authority is likely to reject an application for the operation of a casino at the Sleep-in Hotel.
The newspaper also reported on the following day that the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) had indicated that it has been investigating the owner of the hotel, Clifton Bacchus, and a number of his associates since July 2016 for money laundering.
In court documents seen by this newspaper, the claimant, Bacchus, is suing the Guyana National Newspapers Limited and the Editor of the Guyana Chronicle, for its initial publication on August 16 and the follow-up article in its August 17 publication which claimed that Bacchus and his hotel are being funded from criminal activities.
Damages are being sought in excess of $1B for each article.
Bacchus said in his claim that he was at all material times a businessman, a husband of a businesswoman and the father of two. He said that he is also the owner of three international hotels located in and operating from the city of Georgetown.
He added that the Sleep-in International is a multimillion-dollar investment comprising a new 150-room facility complete with restaurants, a gym, a swimming pool, a spa, bars and a building to house a casino.
According to Bacchus, the Editor of the articles falsely and maliciously published articles with sensational headlines concerning him.
Bacchus has since denied there being any truth in the articles published by the Guyana Chronicle.
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