THE Prime Minister took the witness stand on Tuesday in an assessment for damages before a High Court master in which he is seeking compensation for defamatory statements made against him by former chairman of the Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG), Brian Stone.
Dr Rowley spent close to 15 minutes in the witness box in one of the courtrooms at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain. His witness statement in the assessment hearing was tendered into evidence.
He also answered questions put to him by Master Martha Alexander who has to determine the quantum of compensation he is to receive for the defamatory statements.
Judgment in default had been delivered in the PM’s favour after Stone failed to put in a defence to the 2017 claim.
The defamation claim centered on statements made by Stone alleging the PM was involved in receiving kickbacks from a certain segment of society, and corruption relating to the construction of an apartment building in west Trinidad.
Last week, and again on Monday, Stone, on his Facebook page inviting members of the public to Tuesday’s hearing, said his attorney Robin Montano would cross-examine the Prime Minister in court.
However, Stone’s attorney was not permitted to question the Prime Minister as the necessary applications were not filed in accordance with the court’s rules on cross examination of witnesses.
Directions have been given for the filing of submissions later this year after which the master will deliver her decision on the quantum of damages to be paid by Stone.
Rowley is represented by attorney Michael Quamina.