PM Douglas Missing From Court In Slander Trial

St. Kitts - Nevis PM - Denzil Douglas

St. Kitts – Nevis PM – Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
People’s Action Movement
November 24, 2009

After all the insulting words that Dr. Denzil Douglas have had to say about Eugene Hamilton, now that Hamilton is calling on him to back up his chat in the High Court, Denzil Douglas is looking for ways to run from Hamilton.

For the three days that the Court set down the matter to be tried, Denzil Douglas succeeded in staying away from the Court without any explanation from any of the three lawyers representing himself and Cedric Liburd. Liburd himself was late on the first day, and he did not show up at all on the second.

Up to now, neither Liburd nor Douglas has been able to put up a witness statement in his own defense. This is what Douglas and Liburd have come to. They will get on a public platform and say all sorts of things about Hamilton then when Hamilton takes them to Court, they do not admit the words. People are saying that Denzil Douglas and Cedric Liburd are running from Eugene Hamilton after all the mouth they had.

The case was set down weeks ago for trial for 17, 18, and 19 November, 2009. On the 16 November, Denzil Douglas and Cedric Liburd, through their counsel, served an application on Mr. Hamilton’s counsel to vary the trial dates. They used three grounds, (a) that the Claimant Eugene Hamilton had not given full and frank disclosure of documents to them; (b) that they had recently instructed Senior Counsel in the matter and that due to other commitments he had not been able to be ready for the Hearing; and, (c) that pursuant to the Order to have a trial by jury, the Registrar of the High Court had not given them any instructions for empanelling the jury.

The Judge dismissed the first ground of the application after giving reasons. He said that one could not help but think that it was a delaying tactic. He stated that one cannot slander someone, claim “fair comment” in their defense when they have not even admitted the words, and then ask the person who they allegedly defamed to provide evidence to assist them with their defense.

He also rejected the second ground on the basis that this case is sixteen years old. He could not understand why, after all this time, they should only now be instructing new counsel and it would make a mockery of the judicial system if a party could wait until the date for trial to have a new lawyer and delay the trial. Finally, he indicated that on the matter of a jury trial, before the close of business on the 19th November, he would instruct the Registrar of the Court to write to the Defendants and tell them how much they would have to pay to empanel a jury.

The fact is that this matter is an embarrassment to the Court and it is obvious that the judge is determined to move it along. In his ruling he has ordered counsel for both the Claimant Eugene Hamilton and the Defendants, Denzil Douglas and Cedric Liburd to give written submissions in 14 days as to whether the words that Eugene Hamilton has complained of that Denzil Douglas and Cedric Liburd have said about him, are capable of bearing a defamatory meaning of Eugene Hamilton. He instructed that on December 11, he would hear oral submissions on the same issue, and as a matter of law, he, the judge, will make a determination on this matter shortly after.


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