Wednesday 23 September, 2020

Warner slams newspaper over libel case: I never wrote article

Former minister and ex-FIFA vice president, Jack Warner, slammed what he said was ‘malicious propaganda’ after Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar won a defamation case against Sunshine Publications Limited, which has now been shut down.

Warner said to LoopTT that he was not listed as an owner of the company, which was owned by two directors, one living in Trinidad and Tobago and one living abroad. 

In a letter to the Trinidad Express, Warner said that the article, titled ‘Defamation Lawsuit. Kamla wins, Jack to pay’ was misleading as he did not write the article and the newspaper has since been closed.

“I am sure that you were aware that the matter before the court was one in which the defendant was Sunshine Publications Limited, a company which closed its doors some months ago.

“I am also certain your research would have shown that the offending article was not written by myself. As such there was no judgement against Jack Warner but against a company called Sunshine Publications Limited.”

"Your erroneous reporting, premeditated as it appears to have been, is an attempt to personally malign myself," he said.

Warner said payment for damages awarded in the case would be made by the company Sunshine Publications Limited. 

Warner said Sunshine Publications, which is now defunct, had no legal representation in the court nor any member from among its staff, all of whom had their contracts terminated.

“While I understand the nature of newspaper headlines is to sell as many copies as possible, there should be an attempt at being truthful.

“This particular report was far from truthful and stepped into the arena of deliberate and malicious propaganda for selfish purposes.

“Nonetheless I trust that you will publish this letter with the same enthusiasm and prominence as your attention-getting article,” he said.

The article, which was published in the Sunshine Newspaper in December 2015, referred to claims regarding sums of money deposited into a bank account and threats of extradition, according to a letter allegedly received from a US Senator. 

Justice David Harris ruled that damages would be awarded to Persad-Bissessar for libel, along with exemplary damages and costs. 

An injunction was also ordered to prevent the defendant from further publishing the allegations. 

Warner said a new company, Sunshine Today, was registered a few months ago this year. 


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