The Full Court has granted a stay of execution in the $20M judgment against Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo concerning the libel lawsuit which was filed by former APNU+AFC Minister Annette Ferguson.
Jagdeo had moved to the Full Court, challenging the decision of High Court Judge, Sandra Kurtzious, to grant a default judgment in a lawsuit filed by Ferguson.
As a result, the Full Court comprising of Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire, SC, and Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry granted a stay of execution in relation to the damages.
The Court has also set October 14, 2021, at 1:30 pm for a hearing of the Vice President’s appeal.
In the Notice of Appeal which was filed in June by his lawyer, Devindra Kissoon, Jagdeo is asking the court to have the judge’s decision set aside and reversed in its entirety.
Jagdeo is seeking an order setting aside the default judgment issued against him on March 11, 2021.
He is also seeking an order from the court to allow him leave to file a defense to the action within 7 days of the date of the granting of his application and extending the relevant case management timelines to allow him to properly defend the claim.
Lastly, Jagdeo is asking the court to grant an interim order staying the enforcement of the decision and default judgment pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
In January 2020, Ferguson filed a $60M lawsuit against Jagdeo—the then Opposition Leader and the Guyana Times newspaper, over what she said were libelous statements made by the two, calculated to damage her character and reputation.
In her suit against Jagdeo, Ferguson sought damages in excess of $50,000,000 for libel she said he committed on two separate occasions—December 5th and 12th of 2019 for which she was asking for more than $25M in damages for each occasion.
In her separate action against the Guyana Times which is still before the courts, the former minister is seeking damages in excess of $10M against the news entity which she said had published the alleged libelous statements made against her by Jagdeo.
Ferguson had alleged that Jagdeo made what she said were untrue statements regarding her acquisition of land.