PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, October 9, 2019 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, made a brief appearance in the High Court here, yesterday, in a matter in which he is seeking compensation for defamatory statements, made against him by former Chairman of the then state-owned Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG), Brian Stone.
Rowley spent close to 15 minutes in the witness box, after which his witness statement in the assessment hearing was tendered into evidence.
High Court Master, Martha Alexander, is to determine the quantum of compensation Rowley is to receive for the defamatory statements, after judgment in default had been delivered in his favour after Stone failed to put in a defence to the 2017 claim.
Newsday newspaper reported that the defamation claim centered on statements made by Stone, alleging that Prime Minister Rowley was involved in receiving kickbacks from a certain segment of society, and corruption relating to the construction of an apartment building in west Trinidad.
Stone, who had taken to social media, urging members of the public to Tuesday’s hearing, said his attorney, Robin Montano, would cross-examine the Prime Minister in court.
However, Montano was not permitted to question Prime Minister Rowley as the necessary applications were not filed, in accordance with the court’s rules on cross examination of witnesses.
During the hearing, directions were given for the filing of submissions, later this year, after which Master Alexander will deliver her decision on the quantum of damages to be paid by Stone.