Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 29th 2017 Contents news A7
Friday, September 29, 2017
Senator to pay $.5m for defamation
Government Senator Dr Lester
Henry has been ordered to pay
former Central Bank Governor
Jwala Rambarran $550,000 in
compensation for defamation.
In a 29-page judgment deliv-
ered in the Port-of-Spain High
Court yesterday, Justice Devindra
Rampersad ruled that Henry de-
famed Rambarran while he was a
guest on a talk show programme
on i95.5 FM on July 9, 2014.
The statements made by Henry
described repair works done on
Rambarran's private residence in
Valsayn during his tenure, which
Henry claimed were done using
Central Bank funds.
Rampersad ruled that because
Henry had no evidence to sub-
stantiate his claims, he was not
entitled to claim the defences of
fair comment and that the issue
was a matter of public impor-
"The defendant's conduct has
been less than would have been
expected from someone of his
stature and position," Rampersad
Rampersad also criticised
Henry for wilfully failing to dis-
close the of icial recording of the
programme, which was provided
by the station and was vital to the
case. He also noted that Henry, a
lecturer at the University of the
West Indies, failed to properly
investigate the allegations before
stating them on the programme.
Testifying in the trial of the
case in May, Henry admitted that
he had issues with Rambarran's
appointment as he felt that he
was the "least quali ied" for the
He admitted that he received
information about the repair
works but did not have the re-
sources to investigate its authen-
ticity and that he merely called
for an investigation into the issue.
Rambarran denied any wrong-
doing as admitted that repair
works were done to his house
while he lived in the bank's of-
icial residence for six months,
but noted that those repairs were
done at his personal expense. He
stated that he decided to move
back to his private home as living
in Port-of-Spain was inconven-
ient to his children, who attend
school in east Trinidad.
He stated that the only work
done at the bank's expense was
the construction of a security
booth and installation of security
cameras at the cost of $250,000,
which was approved by the
In a news release issued yester-
day afternoon, Rambarran said
he was pleased by the outcome.
"Dr Henry went out of his way
to falsely and maliciously accuse
me of using public funds from the
Central Bank, of which I was the
Governor at the material time,
to pay for repairs to my private
home," Rambarran said.
Rambarran was represented
by Anand Ramlogan, SC, Richard
Jagai and Douglas Bayley, while
Henry was represented by Gilbert
Peterson, SC, and Ken Wright.
AG: Govt moves to stop land fraud
Government is expected to
move swiftly ahead in clamping
down on land fraud by introduc-
ing a new law that will make it
compulsory for an owner to reg-
ister their parcels of land.
This was disclosed yesterday
by the Attorney General Faris
Al-Rawi during his address at
the T&T Transparency Institute's
(TTTI) 2017 Anti-Corruption
Conference (ACC 2017).
The conference --- under the
theme "Breaking Free from a
Culture of Corruption ---took
place at the Hilton Trinidad.
The law, according to Al-Rawi,
proposes to criminalise the fail-
ure to register a deed of title.
"The proceeds of crime and
land. Investment in fronted busi-
nesses, where you don't know
who the real owner is because
the bene icial ownership is not
certain because you only know
the legal owner," Al-Rawi said.
He said there is an abuse of
land trusts because of the fact
that there is no mandatory pro-
vision in T&T's laws that land
trusts must be done by way of
deed, therefore registered.
Al-Rawi said that in addition
to land trusts being registered,
deeds must be registered within
12 months and if this cannot be
done then the landowner would
have to go to the Registry and
"Tell them why...if it is stamp
duty taking long or somebody
died...let the Registrar consider
the application for the exten-
sion of the time and if the Regis-
trar says no then go to the High
Court for due process," Al-Rawi
While PNM MP Maxie Cuf ie will
be missing this today's launch of
the Third Session of Parliament, a
much improved Cuf ie is looking
forward to watching Monday's
2018 Budget presentation.
"He's even asked to have a TV
in his room to watch the Budget,"
said Cuf ie's wife Hermia Ty-
son-Cuf ie yesterday.
Cuf ie collapsed on September
6 with what was described as a
medical episode. It was subse-
quently con irmed to be a stroke.
He underwent successful surgery
at St Clair Medical Centre and is
out of intensive care and recuper-
Yesterday his wife said Cuf ie,
"Is going nicely, continuing to
mend. I'm pleased his doctors are
happy and they seem happy with
all they're doing. Maxie already
wants to go home but the doctors
will say exactly when."
She said Cuf ie is chatting up a
storm and listening to music.
"You tell him anything and he
has the information on it --- sharp
as ever. My niece told him Mon-
day is Budget day and you could
see the wheels turning in his
head. So he wants a TV to follow
the presentation. But an iPad
might be better."
Tyson-Cuf ie added, "I can un-
derstand his interest since he'd
been doing a lot of work towards
his Budget reply whenever the de-
"But he's also keeping tune with
other things. He became worried
about a colleague after hearing
about the hurricane that hit Dom-
inica. The colleague --- a classmate
of his at Harvard --- lives in Domi-
nica and is involved with politics
She had special thanks for the
attention Cuf ie is receiving, at the
"The staff is so warm and car-
ing. They look after him as though
he was a son or brother," she said.
World experts at today's journalism seminar
Experts in the ield of journalism
will today share their knowledge
at the Guardian Media's journal-
ism conference --- Journalism in the
Digital Age --- at the Hyatt Regency,
The conference, hosted by
Guardian Media as part of its cel-
ebrations to commemorate the
100th anniversary of the Guardian
newspaper, will feature ten speak-
ers from the United Kingdom, USA
and T&T who are all expected to
delve into the rapidly evolving
world of digital journalism through
insightful panel discussions.
Guardian Media's managing di-
rector, Lucio Mesquita welcomed
the speakers, whom he described
as "some of the best specialists in
the ield of journalism and digital
media in the world."
Mesquita said that quality
journalism remains an essential
requirement of any functioning de-
mocracy and "we are really happy
to be welcoming some of the best
specialists in the ield of journalism
and digital media in the world to
share with us their insights at such
transformative stage of the indus-
t r y."He said, "As the longest-running
newspaper in our country, we felt
that our centenary should include
meaningful contributions towards
helping make T&T a better place
and this conference is one of them.
It is also linked to improvements
we are making to our news output
-- the new Guardian newspaper we
have already launched, new apps
and websites coming to market
soon and much more."
Guardian Media's Head of News,
Shelly Dass said she believes that
digital journalism has changed the
way business is done.
"There are gaps in the industry
that must be closed --- deadlines are
more immediate, timelines have
changed and digital journalism is
where and how we break major
news," Dass said.
"Yet in the demand to push out
content faster, we simply must
strike the balance between being
irst and being responsible," she
Dass said that what they have
done with this conference was to
gather experts from around the
world who understand the balance.
"They are working with us as
well as colleagues from several
other media houses, industry ex-
perts, students and stakeholders
so that together we can all take the
local industry forward."
She said that as the Guardian is
now 100 years old, Guardian Media
understands the need for change,
"that's why earlier this month we
presented the new Guardian...but
all of our media platforms, CNC3,
our radio stations, digital sites are
working to deliver more and better
content. That's what this confer-
ence is about: our collective drive
to do better for you."
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi greets Hugette Labelle former chairman of
Transparency International at the anti-corruption conference at Hilton hotel
PICTURE ANISTO ALVES
Dr Lester Henry
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