Warner to Simmons:
Former government minister Jack Warner, though his attorney Andrew Mitchell QC has issued a pre-action protocol letter to Sir David Simmons demanding that he retract defamatory claims made against him (Warner) in the Concacaf integrity report.
The pre-action protocol letter, dated August 12, was sent to Simmons in care of the Secretariat, Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 Coup, EF Telly Paul Building, corner St Vincent and New Streets, Port of Spain.
Simmons is the chairman of the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 coup and was also chairman of Concacaf’s Ethics Committee which released a report in April this year with the finding that Warner, during his tenure as Concacaf president was fraudulent in his management of the entity.
On the heels of the report, Warner resigned as National Security Minister, UNC chairman and Chaguanas West MP.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar accepted Warner’s resignations calling on him to clear his name and answer to the allegations made against him in the Simmons report.
Warner instead formed the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and re-claimed the Chaguanas West seat in the July 29 by-election.
Following his victory, he said he would initiate legal action against Simmons.
Keeping to his word, the pre-action protocol letter was sent to Simmons and according to Warner’s attorneys the statements and allegations in the report were “entirely false and malicious,”.
The lawyers listed as false the allegations made against Warner.
Warner’s attorneys have requested that all allegations made in the report be retracted and a public apology given.
The attorneys have asked that:
(i) An unqualified public retraction of all of the allegations referred to and a proper apology to the client on terms to be agreed. The public apology, is required to be released to the international media and placed on the World Wide Web and in a manner no less prominent than the allegations complained of herein,
(ii) An undertaking never to repeat the said allegations or make similar allegations,
(iii) The payment of a substantial sum in damages to a charity or charities of the client’s choice to demonstrate the baselessness of the allegations and to compensate the client for the injury to his reputation, financial loss and the considerable distress that he has suffered; and
(iv) The payment of the client’s legal costs incurred in retaining attorneys-at-law, including those incurred as a result of consultations which the client has had with both senior and junior counsel and his instructing attorney.
The pre-action protocol letter stated that an immediate withdrawal and apology (the terms of which to be settled by Warner’s legal team) will no doubt serve to mitigate the damage that he was suffering.
“If you fail to withdraw, apologise and cause the publication of a public apology no later than 28 days from the date hereof my client will further demand that you make a statement in court and will therefore, without further recourse, commence proceedings against you,” stated the letter.