honoured: Chairman of the governing body of NCSM, Prof Ranbir Sobti, drapes an Indian traditional garment around the neck of acting Prime Minister Jack Warner during NIHERST's formal opening of "India: A Culture of Science" at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas, on Monday evening. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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Jack sues journalist over Twitter comment

FORMER FIFA vice president Jack Warner has sued former Express journalist Lasana Liburd for libel arising out of a statement he (Liburd) allegedly published on the social networking site www.twitter.com on February 16.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday in the Port of Spain High Court by attorneys Om Lalla and Dereck Balliram.

On April 18, Liburd was issued a pre-action protocol letter by Warner's attorneys who called on him to give an undertaking, in writing, that he will not repeat, publish or cause to be published, any further statements which may be deemed to be defamatory. Liburd was also called upon to retract the statement and apologise on Twitter and on his website wired868.com.

The pre-action letter read in part: "The seriousness of the defamatory words is compounded by the fact that it purports to shed light on fraudulent appropriation of monies which were donated to the earthquake stricken country of Haiti. It is apparent that the words published are done with the dominant motive of discrediting the intended claimant's (Warner's) credibility in the political party locally as well as his reputation of good standing internationally in the sport of football.

Warner, the chairman of the United National Congress (UNC) party, is also the Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West and the Minister of Works and Infrastructure.

Liburd, through his attorney Dave de Peiza, responded in writing on May 10. De Peiza said his client (Liburd) will vigorously defend any claim brought against him by Warner since, prior to publishing the article, he (Liburd) contacted Warner for his side of the story but Warner declined.

Warner is seeking compensation and an injunction restraining Liburd from further publishing, or causing to be published, the said words or any similar words defamatory of him (Warner). —KS

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