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Wednesday 26 September 2018
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Judge to decide if Dr Moonilal defamed

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal.
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal.

UPDATE:

A HIGH Court judge will later this year decide whether two commentary pieces in the weekly TNT Mirror publication were defamatory to Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal.
Moonilal has complained of two commentary pieces written by People’s National Movement political activist and newspaper columnist Juliet Davy and published in the weekly newspaper in May and June, 2016.
The columns allegedly mentioned a list published online on imgur.com which purportedly named the 25 richest people in TT. Moonilal’s name was fourth on the list and allegedly put his worth at $2.58 billion.
His attorney, Larry Lalla, in an opening statement, said the case continues the local jurisprudence set by two judges on online publications, referring to the judgements of Justices Frank Seepersad and Margaret Mohammed in two online defamation cases. Lalla said people gave themselves liberty in what they post and newspapers were taking source material from these online posts.
Davy’s attorney, Michael Quamina said he preferred to make his opening statement in his written submissions in the case. Testifying at the trial before Justice Robin Mohammed, yesterday, were Moonilal and Davy. In his evidence, Moonilal said he did not take steps to determine the origin of the list, nor did he take steps to have it removed from the internet, or corrected.
He is alleging that Davy’s columns were understood to be allegations on social media that he amassed a fortune of $2.4 billion, and suggested that he engaged in fraudulent and criminal acts.
Moonilal also claims the columns caused him irreparable harm and distress In her testimony, Davy said her pieces were commentary pieces and was never intended to be a political attack on Moonilal.
Her defence is mounted on the principles of fair comment, and she has denied maligning Moonilal’s character or being unfair to him.
“At the time of writing, I was doing my journalistic duties,” she said, adding that she was not Moonilal’s political adversary.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

A HIGH Court judge will later this year decide whether two commentary pieces in the weekly TNT Mirror publication were defamatory to Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal.

Moonilal has complained of two commentary pieces written by People’s National Movement political activist and newspaper columnist Juliet Davy and published in the weekly newspaper in May and June, 2016.

The columns allegedly mentioned a list published online on imgur.com which purportedly named the 25 richest people in TT. Moonilal’s name was fourth on the list and allegedly put his worth at $2.58 billion.

Moonilal and Davy testified at the trial before Justice Robin Mohammed, yesterday.

The judge set a tentative date of December 18 to give his decision, adding that if he is unable to do so, his judgement will instead be delivered in January.

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