NEW YORK, CMC – The head of a Caribbean American group here says he has filed “libel and defamation” lawsuits against Guyanese media houses with alleged close affiliation with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration.
Rickford Burke, president of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), said on Thursday he has filed the suits against the Guyana Chronicle newspaper, the National Commutations Network (NCN) Television and the Brooklyn, New York-based PPP website Newguymedia.com.
Burke who has retained prominent Guyanese Attorney, Nigel Hughes, said the legal action stems from alleged publication of “false and slanderous allegations” that he was arrested in New York for identity theft. He said, in fact, he was “the victim of identity theft.”
Jevon Suralie, the Institute’s Director of Communications, disclosed that Burke had a “recent encounter with NYPD (New York Police Department) officers, which resulted in the issuance of a traffic violation summons .
Suralie said the NYPD’s Internal Affairs investigation found that Burke was exiting his parked car and was, therefore, not driving at the time.
“The incident led to the discovery that someone or persons have been driving under his [Burke] name, and that he was the victim of identity theft,” he said. “The perpetrators accumulated multiple unpaid summonses, duplicate DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) records, and SCOFFS laws violations and judgments under Burke’s name, resulting in multiple licence suspensions,” added Suralie, stating that the “perpetrators” also opened an HSBC Bank credit card account in Burke’s name.
“Rickford Burke is the victim of identity theft (and) DMV officials are working to sanitise his driving record" said Suralie.