Jagdeo wants judgement in Ferguson’s defamation suit stayed, further appeals ruling

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Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has made an application to the High Court seeking a stay of the decision handed down by Justice Sandra Kurtzious where she upheld her previous decision that he must pay Opposition Parliamentarian, Annette Ferguson $20M for defamation.

The Vice President has also submitted a Notice of Appeal in which he indicated his intention to further challenge the initial default judgement handed down by the Judge on March 11, 2021.

He wants the June 16 decision to be put on hold until his appeal is heard and determined.

Jagdeo’s latest appeal is to the full court of the High Court in which he still pursues the reliefs sought in his initial appeal.

He wants the latest decision to be set aside and reversed in its entirety and an Order to be granted to also set aside the default judgement.

Ferguson had filed defamation proceedings against Jagdeo, alleging that various comments made by him during a press conference on December 5, 2019, concerning her allocation of a house lot, and on December 12, 2019, alleging misconduct at the Guyana Post Office, were defamatory.

It was Justice Kurtzious who handed down the default judgement, ordering Dr Jagdeo to pay the former Housing Minister more than $20 million in damages for libel after Jagdeo failed to file a defence.

Jagdeo and his lawyer at the time, Anil Nandlall, SC, had said the defence was not filed because of a serious of events relating to the March 02, 2020 elections.

In her latest ruling, the Judge said the Court was not convinced with the reasons for the failure by Jagdeo’s lawyer to file a defence.

She withdrew the $20M award and ordered that the lawyers for both parties make submissions on the amount of damages that Jagdeo must pay Ferguson.

But Jagdeo contends that the trial Judge erred in law and fact by finding that he had no real prospect of defending of defending the claim.

He also believes that the Judge misdirected herself in law by entering the default judgement.

Jagdeo believes Justice Kurtzious placed undue emphasis on Ferguson’s pleadings without giving similar regard to his defence.

The Vice President is now being represented by Devindra Kissoon who insists that Jagdeo can prove that his statements about Ferguson are true.

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