By Abena Rockliffe
“The Vice President (Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo) is thick skinned. He is not a newbie politician; he is mature in the arena and understands all that comes with the territory. He is not known to follow-up on personal attacks. But the defendant, this Max person, seems desperate for the Vice President’s attention, desperate enough not to stop his attacks until the situation escalates. We want to put a legal stop to it.”
So said Attorney-at-Law, Sanjeev Datadin as he responded to Guyana Standard’s query about legal proceedings initiated by Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo.
According to a writ seen by this news agency, Dr. Jagdeo has caused social media personality, Bryan Mackintosh also known as “Bryan Max” to be sued.
The former president’s lawyers, Datadin and Khalif Gobin, note that he suffered “considerable distress and embarrassment” over malicious and false statements made by the defendant.
As such, the Vice President is seeking damages in excess of $5M for libel. He is also seeking an injunction restraining the defendant, his servants and agents or otherwise from publishing or causing to be published, similar words which are defamatory.
Further, the United Nations’ “Champion of the Earth” is seeking an order that Mackintosh immediately removes all social media posts which contain the “false and defamatory” words or similar which convey the same meaning.
A retraction and apology are also being sought.
The writ notes Mackintosh as a Facebook user who operates a page with 30k followers.
The court was told of Mackintosh’s claim that the Dr. Jagdeo’s “boys took a knife to my brakes line.”
The writ further quotes Mackintosh who said, “You Jagdeo. You just declared war. You just f**king declared war on me…. You are going to f**king learn. You send f**king people to cut my f**king brakes. You son of a f**king bitch…You sent somebody to cut my f**king brakes line Jagdeo. Are you a f**king madman are you a f**king lunatic? You endanger my life. You want me to f**king die?
The court document notes that the initial libelous publication on Facebook has been followed by the repetition of similar words and sentiments on numerous occasions on the same platform.
By reason of the publication, Dr. Jagdeo’s reputation has suffered public embarrassment.
Datadin told Guyana Standard that the situation where Mackintosh continues to peddle “notorious lies” is extreme and worrying because the lies have been accompanied by theatrics.
“I feel that if something is not done it will escalate. It has not been one incident. It has been a cycle in several Facebook posts on several pages.
Datadin continued, “I do not know if he is being instigated or pushed by persons to do this; but he appears to be desperate for the attention of the Vice President or at least to get a reaction. Desperation oozes from his posts and rants. He wants the attention of the VP and this is the main reason we decided to file legal proceedings. He wouldn’t stop otherwise, and it is dangerous.”