Nov 25, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Former Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy has applied to the High Court for the setting aside of the default judgment granted in the libel suit brought against him by veteran journalist and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Communications Network (NCN), Enrico Woolford.
According to court documents seen by this newspaper, Dr. Ramsammy has filed an application seeking inter alia, an order that the default judgment be set aside, and that he be allowed to file a defense. Dr. Ramsammy is contending in his application that he was never served any documents in relation to the case because the Court Marshall providing the service failed to reach him at his correct address.Among other things, Dr. Ramsammy contends that he does not reside at the address stated in the document. The former minister who is now an advisor to the current Minister of Health stated too that he was never evading the service of the court, but was rather busy in the fields conducting awareness of the COVID-19 immunization drive.
As such, Dr. Ramsammy asked the court to reconsider the default judgment granted against him for failing to file a defense. Last August, Justice Fidela Corbin-Lincoln granted a default judgment to Woolford, in a $150 million libel suit he filed against Dr. Ramsammy.
In a statement released on Woolford’s behalf, lawyer Eusi Anderson said that his client was grateful for the ruling. According to Anderson, the default judgments were granted in keeping with the Civil Procedures Rules when the defendant to a claim fails to file a defense within the prescribed time.
“My client tried to bring the proceedings to Dr. Ramsammy’s attention both through personal service then through substituted service. In both situations, he incurred tremendous expense and failed to serve Dr. Ramsammy,” Anderson said in the statement.
Further, the lawyer said “My client looks forward to removing, with the passage of time and financial damages, the stain of alleged election rigging from his name in local, regional, and international quarters. He exhausted the judicial process and was vindicated in the end. He played no role in the alleged rigging of the March 2020 General and Regional Elections.”
Woolford, had filed a $150 million claim against the Guyana Times and Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, a columnist and former Minister of Health, for libel.
According to court papers, Ramsammy was sued 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 his statement of claim, the veteran journalist outlined that on March 18, 2020, in a column titled: “Ramsammy’s Ruminations” the former Minister of Health defamed him. In the circumstances, Woolford was seeking damages in excess of $150 million from Dr. Ramsammy and Times Media Group Inc., publisher of the Guyana Times newspaper.
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