Minister Ferguson sues opposition leader, Guyana times for libel
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for housing Annette Ferguson today filed a claim in the High Court against General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party Bharrat Jagdeo and the Guyana Times newspaper for libel.
Jagdeo, along with Guyana Times will have to prove to the court, with evidence, claims made about misappropriation, rise in wealth, and the minister’s ownership of three house lots at Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
At his press conference in December 2019, Jagdeo made allegations against Minister Ferguson, claiming that she took three plots of land in Eccles and that she had experienced a meteoric rise in wealth within two years of becoming a minister.
The very statements were then captured in an article by the Guyana Times on December 13, suggesting that it had evidence to support the claims by the party’s General Secretary.
Represented by Attorney-at-law Lindon Amsterdam, it was put before Justice Gino Persaud, the minister’s ownership of one plot of land in Eccles and names and copies of the titles of persons who own the neighbouring land. The court was told that the minister has the title and occupies only one plot of land, which she applied to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) in 2014.
Information before the judge showed that minister Ferguson’s life did not begin in 2015 as she was duly employed before she became a government minister. Her source of money to finance the construction of her house, including a loan from Republic Bank. was also shown to the court.
According to the attorney, the minister considers those statements libellous.
“We have put before the court very personal information about the minister because she considers the issue a very important one and she will be pursuing this matter vigorously to the end because she believes the statements made were reckless, were deliberately done and with no factual basis. The truth is on her side,” he stated.
The matter will be heard again on January 29.