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Ferguson files $50M libel lawsuit against Labour Minister  

Former Minister under the previous APNU/AFC Government Annette Ferguson has filed a libel lawsuit against Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton in which she is seeking in excess of $50 million in damages.

Through her Attorney-at-law Lyndon Amsterdam, Ferguson claims that Hamilton defamed her during an interview last month which was broadcast on the National Communications Network (NCN) and live-streamed on the People’s Progressive Party Facebook page.

Ferguson said that during the interview, Hamilton spoke about topics of a political nature and about several persons under the previous APNU/AFC Government who are under investigation or have been charged by the Police in connection with the sale or transfer of lands to individuals in Guyana.

Ferguson contends that Hamilton “without justification suggested that as a Government minister, she is the holder of more than one parcel of land and impliedly contended that she wrongfully used her office and power as a Minister to acquire more than one house lot when this is not true.

She further contends that Hamilton has not provided evidence to support the veracity of the statements and that the deliberate and intentional falsehood intended to tarnish her reputation as a former Government minister and Member of Parliament to cause right-thinking persons to think that she is a corrupt and dishonest person.

As a result of Hamilton’s statements, Ferguson submitted that she became distressedalarmed, and ashamed of herself and was contacted by several persons who heard the interview and claimed to believe the utterances of the minister.

According to the former APNU/AFC Government official, these statements were made by Hamilton to embellish and further his reputation within the People’s Progressive Party government without consideration for the damage being done to her reputation.

Given her good standing in society, she argues that the falsehoods uttered by Minister Hamilton have tarnished her characterlowered her estimation and reputation by rightthinking persons, and brought her position as a former Government Minister and Member of Parliament into disrepute.

Besides asking the High Court to award her over $50 million in damages, Ferguson has also applied for an injunction to restrain Hamilton, and his servants from uttering, repeating and/or disseminating to members of the press and the public words similar to those from the interview with NCN.

Last month, High Court Judge Sandra Kurtzious granted a $20 million default judgment in a similar lawsuit Ferguson had filed against Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.

The judgment was rendered in keeping with the Civil Procedures Rules of the Supreme Court of Judicature after Jagdeo failed to file a defence in the matter. VP Jagdeo has since filed an application in which he is asking the court to suspend the enforcement of the judgment until his other application to have the judgment set aside is heard and determined.