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Warner agrees to out of court settlement with former Cabinet colleague

Suruj Rambachan (left) and Austin Jack Warner in happier days (File Photo) Suruj Rambachan (left) and Austin Jack Warner in happier days (File Photo)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jul 23, CMC – Former government minister Austin “Jack” Warner has agreed to pay a significant sum of money to his one-time colleague, Suruj Rambachan to settle a defamation lawsuit.

The details of the agreement were not made public, but Justice James Aboud signed off on the consent order at the Port of Spain High Court on Friday.

In the lawsuit, Rambachan, who like Warner had served in the cabinet of the then coalition People’s Partnership government, claimed that Warner had made “malicious, reckless and irresponsible” statement against him while speaking at a public political meeting of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) on July 23, 2013.

Warner headed the ILP that contested the September 7 general elections, winning no seats.

Last year, the matter went to mediation to determine if a resolution could be reached without going to trial. But the mediation failed and the trial judge urged the two parties to settle out of court.

Justice Aboud Friday expressed his pleasure with the ‘mutual compassion’ expressed on both sides which he said was needed to bring the matter to an end.

In a statement, Rambachan said the order of the court vindicated his position that the many statements made by Warner in the public domain to defame his character and that of his family were entirely untrue.

“My battle with Mr Warner has been prolonged and tiresome. Mr Warner’s attacks on me and many of my other Cabinet colleagues were relentless and I have always held the view was an attempt to give the ruling PNM a political advantage before the last election,” he said.

He said he was certain “if this matter had proceeded to trial the sum awarded would have been substantially higher. The sum agreed to be paid could never compensate for what my family and I have been put through by Mr Warner. “

Media reports Saturday said that Warner had agreed to pay close to TT$400,000 (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) to Rambachan.
“No amount of damages could ever compensate for the damage to one’s reputation that one has spent a lifetime to build. This is especially so where the majority of my life has been devoted to public service,” Rambachan said.

Last modified onSaturday, 23 July 2016 19:47

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