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Former Solicitor General to testify in Nationwide libel suit

Published:Wednesday | November 27, 2013 | 5:08 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The Attorney General, Patrick Atkinson, has given the former Solicitor General, Douglas Leys the go ahead to testify at the defamation suit brought by former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson against Nationwide News Network.

Leys was claiming privilege not to testify.

The lawsuit which was also brought against Nationwide’s chief executive officer, Cliff Hughes stemmed from the station’s coverage of the arrival of Patterson and several Digicel executives aboard a plane, which landed at the Norman Manley International Airport on May 14, 2009.

Leys was the Solicitor General at the time then Prime Minister Bruce Golding asked for the matter to be investigated.

In claiming privilege as a reason not to testify as a witness, Leys, who is represented by Oliver Smith, also argued that what he would say in evidence would amount to hearsay.

Nationwide has named the former Solicitor General in its testimony as someone they spoke to at the time.

The station says he was not the source of the information.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court this morning heard audio recordings of the alleged defamatory comments made on Nationwide radio in May 2009.

Programmes from May 15, 18 and 20, 2009 were aired in court.

They included a discussion segment and another which had comments from Press Association of Jamaica representatives.

In the aftermath of the coverage, the then Byron Buckley-led Press Association of Jamaica had chastised Nationwide for its treatment of the issue.

Patterson, who was cross-examined yesterday, is being represented by K.D. Knight and Bert Samuels from the firm, Knight, Junor and Samuels.

Justice Paulette Williams is presiding.


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