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DOMINICA | Lawyers for PM Skerrit Sue US blogger and local journalist for fake news

Ex-convict Kenneth Rijock who accused Dominica PM of corruption sued for spreading 'fake news' Ex-convict Kenneth Rijock who accused Dominica PM of corruption sued for spreading 'fake news'
ROSEAU, Dominica, May 16, CMC  – Lawyers for Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and two senior government ministers as well as a senior police officer have filed a lawsuit against disbarred US attorney Kenneth Rijock, local journalist Matthais Peltier and Q95fm Radio.

courtThe lawsuit was filed in the High Court on Monday after Rijock refused to retract, apologize and pay compensation for alleging that 2,000 blank Dominica passports were issued to Moroccan Ambassador to all of the East Caribbean States in 2016.

On April 24,  a demand letter issued to Rijock by Attorney Lennox Lawrence on behalf of Prime Minister  Skerrit; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Francine Baron; Minister responsible for National Security and Immigration, Rayburn Blackmoore, and Senior Police Officer in direct charge of Immigration and Passports, Inspector Pellam Jno. Baptiste stated that legal action could be taken if the demand was not met.

In his emailed response to the demand letter, Rijock wrote: “Please be advised that I will neither retract my articles, nor any of my recorded statements. Florida law recognizes my [sic] as a journalist, and any suit you choose to file on behalf of your clients will be turned over the Reporters without Borders, and to the United Nations, and Organization of American States”.

Accordingly, the lawsuit was filed with Rijock named as the first defendant while Matthias Peltier and West Indies Communications Enterprises Limited (Q95) named the second and third defendants respectively.

The Statement of Claim filed states that the first defendant [Rijock], “On or about the 20th day of April 2017…appeared on Q95FM Radio with the host Matt Peltier via telephone or some other medium and said, “…I think some Dominicans probably know that last year the Moroccan Ambassador to all of the East Caribbean States visited Prime Minister Skerrit…and I understand he came back one additional time. At that time stories were…about the fact that the Ambassador from Dominica had actually left the country with thousands of blank passport forms from Dominica, passports themselves, legitimate issued passports…”.

The four claimants are seeking damages including aggravated damages, for slander for the words spoken, uttered, published and or caused to be published and broadcast or disseminated by the first and or second defendant and by the third defendant.

They are also seeking an injunction restraining Rijock, Peltier and Q95 whether by themselves or through their agents, servants, directors from further publishing or causing to be published the said or similar defamatory words about the claimant; costs on the indemnity basis and or wasted costs against the defendants or each of them and further or other relief.

The lawsuit will be served on Rijock, who is based in the United States, via email and an order will be sought from the court to serve him in person.

It will be served on Matt Peltier and Q95FM by a bailiff.

The defendants have been given twenty-eight days to file a defence to the lawsuit.

The claim form states that  – If they fail to do so, judgement can be entered against him.

Ken Rijock is a former banking attorney at an international law firm. He spent the 1980s as a money launderer and advisor to drug traffickers, until he was arrested and imprisoned. He is now a financial crime consultant who is also being sued by a US company for “his malicious and relentless campaign of fake news”.

In the complaint filed against Rijock in the district court of Florida in March 2017, Northland Wealth Management Inc. claims that Rijock wrote more than forty (40) separate false and defamatory blog postings in a concentrated effort to destroy their respected financial planning and wealth management company.

  • Countries: Dominica

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