Sep 08, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Former Chief Executive Officer of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington has moved to the Court to put Kaieteur News (KNews)’ assets in receivership.
According to court documents seen by this newspaper, Brassington through his attorney, Timothy Jonas, has applied to the High Court for an order to appoint a receiver to recover income and or capital of the defendant company, Kaieteur News, to satisfy the judgment of $10M, which was granted to him on February 12, 2021.
The application was filed in the High Court yesterday and has since been served on Kaieteur News’ lawyer, Christopher Ram.
In 2014, Brassington filed 19 separate lawsuits for libel against Kaieteur News over contents published in the satirical Dem Boys Seh column, which he deemed to be defamatory.
The Courts have since upheld his contention that statements published by KNews were defamatory and meant or understood to mean that he, as head of NICIL, a government holding company responsible for contracts in a number of multi-million dollar projects was “dishonest, had been guilty of criminal activity , fraud and corrupt practices.”
So far, Brassington has been successful in at least seven of those matters securing over $36 million in judgment claims. Of the $36M, which he was awarded, Brassington was able to collect some $18 million from the company’s bank account via a garnishment order from the Court. As a result of his debt collection from the company’s bank account via the garnishment order, the former NICIL Head, through his lawyer, Jonas also issued a notice of withdrawal of the garnishee proceedings.
The notice, which was also served on Kaieteur News’ attorney yesterday is part of the process of informing the Court and the parties involved, that a portion in relation to the judgments already given had been cleared.
Last year, the former CEO won five of the nineteen cases before Justice Fidela Corbin-Lincoln in which he secured judgment awards of $3.5 million for each case for a total of $17.5 million.
In another case, which was tried before Justice Navindra Singh earlier this year, Brassington was awarded $10 million against KNews by the Court. The sums calculated with an interest rate of four percent per annum along with legal fees brought the total to $34.4 million.
In the latest judgment award, which was handed down last month, Brassington secured an additional $2 million award against the newspaper.
The sum takes the amount to a total of $36.4 million. Despite the fact that the former NICIL Head had started cashing in on the judgment via the garnishment order, the newspaper has applied to the court for an order to stop the garnishment and grant the publication a reasonable installment payment plan, given the economic issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall had lamented the impact of the climbing judgment awards during the COVID-19 pandemic on one of his recently aired shows on the Kaieteur Radio.
Lall told his audience: “I don’t know if you remember but I, Adam Harris, and the Kaieteur News were sued 19 times in one day by Winston Brassington back in 2014. Well, last year September, Justice Fidela Corbin tried five and she awarded him $3.5 (million) each with four percent interest rate. That came up to $17.5 (million) in total. A few months later, Justice Navindra Singh tried one of the cases and gave him $10 million. Those six cases totalled $27.5 million. Added with some legal fees, those six cases moved to $34.4 million.”
The KNews Publisher disclosed that, “Since then, I have applied to the High Court to have a hearing to work out a payment plan. I was given October 6, 2021. I am not running from paying but… give the company time to pay, it is COVID-19 and I don’t have to explain what is going on with businesses around the world and what is facing every citizen.”
In addition, to the Brassington judgment, the newspaper was also ordered by Justice Singh to pay a $20 million judgment award to former President Donald Ramotar for a libel in relation to the sale of the Kaieteur and Canje oil blocks. Combined with Brassington’s libel judgments, the newspaper is liable to pay the two parties at least $55 million.
Commenting on Brassington’s recent application for receivership, the Kaieteur News Publisher says he believes there is a sinister plot to get rid of the newspaper.
“We have been a thorn in the flesh of both political regimes exposing their incompetence and corruption. We will see where this goes, somebody has to come out a winner,” he stated.
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