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Hughes disappointed with PJ Patterson libel award... ponders next move

Published:Thursday | October 30, 2014 | 5:24 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Chief Executive Officer of Nationwide News Network, Cliff Hughes, is to meet with his attorneys to decide his next move after a High Court Judge this morning ordered him to pay former Prime Minister PJ Patterson $12 million in damages.

The award was handed down by Justice Paulette Williams in a defamation suit Patterson filed against Nationwide and Hughes.

The suit stemmed from the radio station’s coverage of the arrival of a plane carrying Patterson and executives at telecommunications company Digicel at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston in May 2009.

The former Jamaican Prime Minister asserted in court documents that he had been defamed and sought millions of dollars in general, aggravated and exemplary damages.

Speaking with The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre after the ruling, the Nationwide CEO said he was disappointed with the outcome, but made it clear he respects the ruling of the court.

He says he now plans to sit with his attorneys and study the ruling before deciding the way forward.

But Hughes warned that the ruling touched on some important issues that media practitioners should also carefully study.

The veteran journalist says it was noteworthy that Justice Williams, in her ruling, agreed not to grant Patterson’s claims for aggravated and exemplary damages, which could have pushed the total award to almost $200 million.


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