Tuesday 21 May, 2019

Minister granted injunction, files lawsuit against Trinidad Express

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ayanna Webster-Roy, was granted an injunction against the Trinidad Express Newspapers concerning an article regarding a rent-to-own mortgage with the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

According to a release, Justice Rahim entered a consent order against Express Newspapers and journalists Renuka Singh and Omatie Lyder to cease and desist from publishing that Minister Webster-Roy was in receipt of a rent to own mortgage with the HDC.

The article, entitled 'SECRET KEYS – Gov’t Ministers, senator get posh Rent to Own Victoria Keyes apartments", named Webster-Roy as one of the recipients of a rent to own mortgage from the HDC and further stated that “The Express has received copies of the Victoria Keyes occupancy sheets, which show that Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ayanna Webster-Roy, as well as senator Nigel DeFreitas have been assigned units...”

Webster-Roy has since filed a lawsuit for defamation and breach of confidence against the Trinidad Express, Renuka Singh and Omatie Lyder, accusing them of 'falsely and maliciously publishing the article, knowing that she was not a beneficiary of any rent to own mortgage'.

The Minister noted that the actions were 'intentionally published to scandalize her name as a member of the government which would have ultimately instill a lack of confidence through the readership of the Express Newspaper'.

Justice Rahim also ordered the Express Newspapers to remove, with immediate effect, the offending article and any related online links from their website, online E-paper and social media pages and in particular Facebook.

The newspaper was also ordered not to publish Webster-Roy's personal address or any known personal addresses.

Webster Roy was represented by Elton Prescott SC, Philip Lamont and the Law Firm of Hove and Associates. The Express Newspaper and their reporters were represented by Faarees Hosein. 

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