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'Skeng Don' sues Seaga for libel

EDWARD SEAGA, leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has been slapped with a libel suit by Kenneth Black, a Mandeville businessman popularly known as "Skeng Don."

The suit, filed in the Supreme Court yesterday afternoon by attorney-at-law Bert Samuels of the law firm Knight Pickersgill Dowding and Samuels, alleges that Mr. Seaga libelled and slandered Mr. Black on October 21 this year at a public meeting at Junction, St. Elizabeth. Mr. Black contends further that the alleged libel was broadcast on television on October 21. He alleges further that Mr. Seaga repeated the libel on a radio programme on October 22.

"It will be defended," attorney-at-law Chris Bovell said yesterday when asked about the suit. Mr. Bovell is a senior partner in the law firm Dunn Cox (formerly Dunn Cox Orrett and Ashenheim), which is representing Mr. Seaga. The writ was served on the law firm yesterday.

Mr. Black says in his statement that he has been injured in his credit, character, reputation and in his business. He says further that he has been brought into hatred, ridicule and contempt. Mr. Black has alleged in the suit that the words used by Mr. Seaga who is a political leader and businessman, were "to make a profit for himself and or to the political party of which he is the leader."

He is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages against Mr. Seaga, because he is contending that Mr. Seaga acted out of spite and gross wrecklessness when he repeated the alleged libel or slander on radio on October 22.

He contends further that Mr. Seaga ought to have known on October 22 that the alleged slander published on October 21, drew great public attention, discussion and curiosity as he (Mr. Black) was "a very well known businessman throughout Jamaica and overseas engaged in the negotiation of multimillion dollar contracts with the public and private sector on behalf of his company, Black Brothers Co. Ltd., a fact well known to the defendant who had often previously publicly criticised him ."

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