Even as he asserted that he does not consider his statements made about world-renowned cricketer, Chris Gayle to be defamatory, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate, Charles Ramson said that he is willing to retract.
Ramson affirmed that this is out of sheer admiration for Gayle as he is by no means accepting liability.
This is what Ramson instructed his lawyer, Sanjeev Datadin, to pen in response to a letter written to him from Gayle’s lawyer, Senior Council Roysdale Forde.
On January 30, Ramson Jr. told residents of the Queenstown, Albertown area that he was reliably informed that Gayle is actively trying to get the outstanding money that was promised to him for his visit to Linden during a People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-organised event last October.
Ramson claimed that Gayle was promised US$50,000 for the visit to Linden where he walked with PNCR officials and greeted supporters during the party’s 62nd anniversary. However, according to Ramson, Gayle was only paid US$10,000 of the promised sum.
After Guyana Standard reported Ramson’s statements, Forde wrote a letter to Ramson asking, on behalf of his client, for a withdrawal of the statements to be made within 24 hours. That letter was shared with the media since Saturday last. However, Ramson is yet to officially receive same from Forde.
In the letter dated February 11, 2020, seen by this publication, Datadin wrote: “My client is surprised that the letter dated the 4th February, 2020 which reached the local press on the 9th February, 2020 is yet to reach either his home or his Chambers; the latter you would be more familiar with as colleagues of the same profession.”
Datadin told Forde that Ramson’s purported statements originated from a known-associate of Gayle’s in the presence of another individual, corroborated by Whatsapp messages seemingly from the cricketer and another from a senior government minister and PNCR executive member.
“The Whatsapp exchanges referred to were witnessed by others who were present at the same time my client witnessed it. I am further instructed that he was able to obtain confirmation from several other persons connected with the entertainment and events planning industry. This explanation serves to underscore that there was no malice whatsoever and though not required by law, he conducted ample due diligence before embarking on his political exercise,” Datadin wrote.
Ramson, through Datadin, asserts that Gayle’s presence at a political party’s (not government) Anniversary celebration with an album of pictures being taken with the political party’s executives, leaders and members wearing their political party colours does call into question his denial of being associated with a political party which is still using pictures of his image from the event on their Facebook page under a picture of President David Granger with a slogan that talks about his re-election.
It was noted, in the letter to Forde, that Ramson does not accept the allegation that his statements were defamatory.
However, the letter concluded, “In the final analysis, by way of this response, my client is prepared to accord your client the extraordinary concession articulated by his concern for his public reputation and image when the letter which appears in the press is received by him.”