Kaieteur News, Adam Harris to pay Brassington $13M for libel over 2014 ‘Dem Boys Seh’ articles
Kaieteur News and its former Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris will have to jointly and severally pay the former head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington a total of $13 million following the conclusion of a series of 2014 libel suits.
The damages in the claims filed by Brassington against Kaieteur News and Harris for libel were handed down by Justice Fidela Corbin Lincoln.
The Judge found that both Kaieteur News and Harris share responsibility equally.
Brassington, who was represented by Attorney Timothy Jonas, was contesting derogatory remarks including “fat crook Brazzy” made in the ‘Dem Boys Seh’ satirical daily column.
Kaieteur News and Harris had argued that words referred to by Brassington in his lawsuits were in no way libelous.
In relation to comments made in a June 1, 2014 article, the Court assessed and awarded damages in the sum of $2 million. In addition, another $2 million in damages were assessed for comments published in a February 24, 2014 article.
The Court further assessed damages in the sum of $6 million and $3 million for remarks in ‘Dem Boys Seh’ columns published on January 27, 2014, and March 4, 2014, respectively.
The Judge found that the repeat publication of defamatory words to the same effect which would have caused injury to the Brassington’s feelings and said that while an award of damages, in this case, must not punish the wrongdoer it must fairly compensate the victim.
“Compensation is awarded to console the claimant for the distress he suffers from the publication of the statement; to repair the injury to his reputation; and as a vindication of his reputation,” the judge ruled.
In addition, the Judge also ruled that the pleadings in the claims were essentially the same as the other claims which were heard together save for the particulars of the publication.
She said the Plaintiff relied on the same evidence for all the cases and the claims were tried together.