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Court of Appeal denies libel award

Published:Saturday | December 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM

A special jury award of $8 million for defamation, which was awarded to Vivian Cohen, former headmaster of Kingston College, against former board member Rudolph Wallace six years ago has been set aside by the Court of Appeal.

The court, in setting aside the award which was handed down in the Supreme Court in July 2006, found that the first verdict, which was delivered in favour of Wallace, should have been accepted.

Queen's Counsel R.N.A. Henriques and attorneys-at-law Ian Wilkinson and Shanique Scott filed several grounds of appeal.

They contended that the judge clearly erred in failing to accept the jury's first verdict that the words complained of were not defamatory.

It was also argued that the judge erred by permitting Cohen's lawyer to invite her to reject the jury's first verdict and to give further directions to the jury.

Cohen had filed a suit contending that Wallace defamed him on December 11, 1996, on a 'Public Eye' programme hosted by the Reverend Garnett Roper on the then-Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.