Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has filed an affidavit in the court by way of his new counsel, Devindra Kissoon, to set aside an Order for him to pay former Housing Minister, Annette Ferguson $20M in a libel case. Jagdeo is insisting that the failure to file a defence, which is the sole reason for losing the case, is no fault of his.

In the court document seen by Guyana Standard, Jagdeo said he had asked Nandlall several times last year if he had filed his defence to which he answered in the affirmative.

The Vice President said, “At all times during February 2020 and beyond, I diligently and promptly enquired of Mr. Nandlall of the status of the matter, and was advised by him that the defence was filed, and that the matter had not yet been fixed for case management. I made several inquiries about the filing of defence and at all times was under the mistaken impression that the matter had been attended to.”

Taking this into consideration, along with the fact that he was caught in unprecedented circumstances in relation to the 2020 elections, Jagdeo pleaded with the court that he not be penalized. He asked to be given a chance to provide the court with evidence to defend his position.

It was only three days ago that Guyana Standard first reported that Justice Sandra Kurtzious ordered Jagdeo to pay $20M in damages to Ferguson following a libel suit she had brought against him last year.

Ferguson had filed the case in January 2020 for statements made by Jagdeo during his time as Opposition Leader. The former President had accused Ferguson of seeing a meteoric rise in wealth within two years of becoming a Minister. He had also accused her of taking three house lots in Eccles for herself.

Along with the $20M, the court also ordered Jagdeo to pay Ferguson a further cost totaling $75,000. If the Vice President fails to comply, the default judgment states that he would be held in contempt of court and may be liable for imprisonment or have his assets confiscated.


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