Tabor to appeal defamation ruling

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There will be an appeal of the decision of the Master of the High Court, who this week granted Prime Minister Gaston Browne permission to sue the opposition United Progressive Party’s (UPP) spokesman, Damani Tabor, for alleged defamation over a year ago.
Attorney Charlesworth Tabor, who represents the UPP senator, told OBSERVER media, he will be filing the appeal on several grounds.
The case is one in which the prime minister alleges that the UPP spokesman’s comments and questions on OBSERVER Radio, over a year ago, suggested he (Browne) was involved in criminal wrong doing or misfeasance through the alleged transfer of five million dollars to his wife’s charity, Share Incorporated.
The lawyer opined that the decision of the Master, Fidela Corbin-Lincoln, “was wrong in law” and he said that in ascertaining the meaning of words for defamation, the court should have rejected “any meaning which can only emerge as the product of some strained or forced or utterly unreasonable interpretation.”
The former High Court registrar said there is no way that the words complained of by the prime minister, suggest he is guilty of criminal corruption, misfeasance in public office and breach of fiduciary duties.
The lawyer said that it was “ridiculous” and “utterly unreasonable” for the Master to conclude that a reasonable/ordinary person could form such an opinion upon hearing the UPP spokesman’s comments and questions about the matter.
There were two causes of action in the defamation claim filed by the prime minister last year: defamation based on the natural and ordinary meaning of the words and; defamation based on an innuendo.
Earlier this week, PM Browne got the ruling granting him permission to sue the spokesman for the opposition UPP for defamation.
In the nine-page ruling, the Master of the Court wrote that while she, as a legal officer, did not find that the words complained of connote any illegality or corruption, she must bear in mind this is not what she was asked to consider.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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