Pay Ramotar $20M or face jail time – Court orders Kaieteur News on false claims of Kaieteur & Canje oil blocks
Former President, Donald Ramotar, has won a defamation suit against the Publisher of the Kaieteur News, Glen Lall, over several articles published in the daily newspaper in June 2019.
In the High Court ruling, the Kaieteur News has been ordered to pay the former President damages in the sum of $20 million for libel published in the Kaieteur News.
“The Court awards interest on the said award at the rate of 6% per annum from June 26th 2019 to March 12th 2021 and 4% per annum thereafter until fully paid,” High Court Judge, Navindra Singh ruled on Friday.
Ramotar was seeking $10 million in damages under the bold and sensational headline: “WAKE UP GUYANA!!!”
The former President was also seeking $20 million for a second article under the headline “WAKE UP GUYANESE BROTHERS AND SISTERS” and for a third article under the headline “WAKE UP GUYANESE Before Cat eat yuh Dinna”.
Lall was also sued and ordered to pay $10 million in damages for slander broadcast in June 2019 on Kaieteur Radio – a radio station operating on frequencies 99.1 FM, Georgetown and Essequibo and 99.5 FM and owned by Lall.
Should Lall fail to comply with the order of the High Court, he will be found in contempt of the court and may be liable for imprisonment or have his assets confiscated.
Ramotar argued that the articles published by Kaieteur News conveyed that as President, he corruptly signed and benefited from the granting of Petroleum Prospecting licences for two oil block- Kaieteur and Canje Blocks.
The judge found that the daily newspaper, through its attorney, Nigel Hughes, failed to counter that argument by providing evidence to show that the former President acted in a corrupt manner when he granted the license. The daily newspaper also failed to establish, based on its publications, that Ramotar was connected to the entities that received the licenses.