Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the main opposition, United Progressive Party, Damani Tabor, have stated their intention to sue each other, after Browne alleged that Tabor propagated “false” and “malicious” accusations about him.
A December 30 release from the Office of the Prime Minister said the libel (defamation) was committed by way of the headline of a December 29 press release which Tabor circulated as the PRO of the United Progressive Party (UPP).
The release stated, “Prime Minister Gaston Browne is today retaining lawyers to sue Damani Tabor and the United Progressive Party for libel.”
Browne is also quoted as saying, “I draw the line at such malicious libel. Tabor and the UPP will now have to answer for their actions in the court…”
This week, it was revealed that the prime minister was alleged to have had contact with agents of the Brazilian conglomerate, Odebrecht, and was alleged to have been informed of their illicit banking activity in Antigua conducted as part of the company’s international bribery scheme.
Browne said yesterday that if he had ever met such individuals it would have been “fleetingly” and “unknowingly.” He emphatically rebuffed the claim of a conversation about illicit activities.
The body of the UPP release called or the prime minister to provide details surrounding the alleged meeting, but Browne’s contention is that the wording of the headline implies action on his part beyond the mere allegation of the meeting and the conversation.
Yesterday, Tabor responded to Browne saying he had “no intention of apologising” and called the lawsuit “totally frivolous and misdirected” adding, “I wish to put Gaston Browne on notice that I will countersue him for malicious an unfounded litigation.”
The allegation against the prime minister arose in a deposition which Luiz Augusto Franca gave to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Curitiba, Brazil on June 24, 2016.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)