PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Thursday February 13, 2014, CMC – The High Court Wednesday awarded Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley TT$475,000 (One TT dollar = US$0.16 cents) in damages following remarks made by a former senator five years ago about a controversial land development project.
Former independent Senator Michael Annisette, who is also President of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Union SWWU), had made reference to the so called “Landate Affair’ in and out of the Senate that involved allegations that materials were siphoned from the Scarborough Hospital project to a private housing project owned by Rowley’s wife.
Rowley, speaking to reporters after the High Court also ordered the former legislator to pay costs, said that he was satisfied with the ruling and that he was prepared to take anyone before the courts to clear his character.
Rowley said that the “Landate Affair” had been the subject of a Commission of Inquiry and other probes by the authority and on each occasion there had been no truth to the allegations made.
Last year, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said that the Landate Affair was still the subject of a police investigation.
Attorney Faris Al-Wari told reporters that the judge in awarding the “highest award of damages in Trinidad and Tobago in the sum of 475,000 dollars and also legal costs in the sum of 160,000 dollars reflected that this attack (on Rowley) was at least as offensive as the most serious defamation in the cases considered by the court”..
Al -Wari said that the judge also noted that the “attack was a wide one which related to an improper relationship allegedly between a (businessman)…and misbehavior in public life”. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)