THE judge hearing former Joint Consultative Council of the construction sector (JCC) president Afra Raymond’s lawsuit against the council will give his decision on March 24.
Justice Devindra Rampersad gave the tentative date for his decision after giving directions for the filing of submissions, at the end of the testimony of the JCC’s past president Winston Riley.
In his lawsuit, Raymond is claiming the JCC defamed him in a newspaper advertisement published four months after he resigned on November 6, 2015.
The JCC’s publication sought to distance itself from a letter to the editor Raymond wrote and submitted for publication on September 27, 2015.
In its disclaimer, the JCC referred to Raymond’s letter and said it was published without the JCC’s knowledge or approval. But, Raymond insisted that was not true and the letter was approved as he had, as president, inferential approval.
In his testimony, Riley, a voted-in past president of the JCC, said he knew Raymond immediately replied to Udecott’s chairman Noel Garcia’s press statement in reply to Raymond’s letter to newspaper editors.
Raymond's letter spoke of the need for increased penalties for people found guilty of failing to appear before a commission of inquiry.
Raymond’s reply was posted on his website at afraraymond.net. Riley also admitted that the replies by both men were made before the JCC publication.
Riley said he was also aware Garcia had e-mailed the JCC to say he did not want an apology, and this was raised at a JCC meeting at which Raymond said he had a cordial meeting with Garcia .
He also said Raymond’s resignation notice came to his attention, and also admitted Raymond had never sat in the position of immediate past president since the JCC’s Constitution was amended, which made the position a voted-in one.
“That position has to be elected,” he said.
He also added, “I, Winston Riley, have a prohibition against anybody who chose to accept a position on council and resigned and wants to come back.”
Questioned by Raymond’s attorney Justin Phelps on whether the change in the Constitution prohibited his client from holding the position, Riley agreed.