Feb 21, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Enrico Woolford, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Communications Network (NCN), has filed a $185 million libel suit against Guyana Times and Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, a columnist, for libel.
According to court papers drafted by his attorney Eusi Anderson, Woolford is suing Ramsammy over an article printed in the Guyana Times in which he alleges that he (Woolford) colluded with the APNU/AFC to rig the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.
In a Statement of Claim, the veteran journalist outlined that in March 18, 2020, in a column titled: “Ramsammy’s Ruminations” the former Minister of Health in his capacity defamed him.
In the circumstances, Woolford is seeking more than $185 million in damages from Dr, Ramsammy and Times Media Group Inc., publisher of the Guyana Times newspaper.
He is also seeking a mandatory injunction compelling the newspaper, Ramsammy whether themselves, or their servants to immediately remove the libelous article from the online edition of the newspapers.
Woolford also asked the Court to order Guyana Times and Dr. Ramsammy to publish a retraction and apology to him in the print and electronic/online version of the newspaper for the false, malicious, and defamatory statements impugning his character and reputation.
He is also asking the court to award him costs, interests on all monetary awards for damages and any such or further orders the court deems just. In a document to support, Woolford on March 18, 2020, said Dr. Ramsammy made defamatory statements about him and his family concerning the March, 2020 elections.
According to the Claimant (Woolford), the defendants Guyana Times and Dr. Ramsammy expressly called for him to be sanctioned, by name, and as part of the media fraternity they assert is partially responsible for alleged efforts to rig.
He noted that Ramsammy called on the international community including but not limited to the governments of the USA, UK, Canada, the European Union as well as the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States and CARICOM must sanction both him and his family members. According to Woolford, the article also suggests that he actively participated in the contamination and or manufacturing of statements of poll.
“The willful malice of this allegation is to be found in the defendants public and international call for adverse consequences not just to the claimant but to his innocent family (against whom they have raised not the iota of an allegation) without due process or a hearing only a conviction in Court of their opinion where they hold the posts of judge, prosecutor, defence counsel, jury and executioner,” he said in the document.
According to Woolford, the defendants made the allegations without affording the opportunity to confront them or offer a comment in defence. Woolford contends that the publication has inflicted damage on his name, income, future earning capacity, and international reputation.
He further contends too that any right-thinking citizen reading the article would conclude that he is dishonest, of questionable character and devoid of integrity, unscrupulous, engaged in illegal activities and unethical behaviour, and not professional.
In his opinion, the veteran journalist said that the Guyana Times and Dr. Ramsammy should have known of the international and regional credibility associated with his name.
In this regard, he detailed a list of notable media entities for which he has contributed through his career including ABC News, NBC News, CBS News and Fox News, Aljazeera News, BBC News, and the Associated Press Television.
He noted too that he is a USA State Department accredited journalist through its foreign press centre in New York USA, ESPN, and a CNN marketing representative in Guyana in addition to being a former Director of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, an Official Commonwealth Observer in the 2017 Bahamas Elections, and a founding member of Transparency International’s Guyana Institute.
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