|FL lawyer sued for libel by Bruce Golding|
|Friday, 27 April 2012 10:26|
Former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has returned to the spotlight since stepping down from office to file a libel lawsuit against Jamaican-American South Florida attorney, David Rowe. The news comes on the heels of another libel suit filed against Rowe by former Jamaican minister Daryl Vaz.
This series of lawsuits were sparked by an unsigned email containing confidential information from an alleged U.S law enforcement memo to the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) investigating corruption among government officials in Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The circulated email linked Vaz to imprisoned Jamaican drug lord, Christopher "Dudus" Coke. Vaz has filed a lawsuit against Rowe in the Broward County Circuit Court for allegedly transmitting the email that directly accused him of "bribery, money laundering, corruption and close affiliations with a notorious convicted drug lord."
Although Golding, who resigned from office last October, was implicated in the controversial email, his lawsuit referred to statements Rowe made in an interview on a Jamaican radio program last September, during which Rowe reportedly speculated about the cause of Golding's resignation, making reference to "Dudus" Coke and the U.S. prosecuting authority. The host of the program, Richard 'Dickie' Crawford and Radio Jamaica Limited (RJR) are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
According to Golding's suit, the "defendants broadcast and published, or caused to be broadcast and published by radio and on the Internet, recklessly, not caring whether they were true or false... words defamatory" about him.
The National Weekly has been unable to get a response from Rowe regarding Golding's lawsuit.
In response to Vaz's suit, Rowe has denied he authored the controversial e-mail, which also implicated Jamaican businessman Gordon "Butch" Stewart, former Jamaican Prime Ministers P.J. Patterson and Edward Seaga, and current Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in a corruption scheme.
According to reports, Rowe claims that he first saw the memo in a confidential email from U.S. Homeland Security. Rowe has claimed to be assisting the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Grand Jury investigation of Jamaican targets.
Rowe has filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Vaz's defamation claim "is baseless and simply a red-herring in an effort to silence [him]," and that the court cannot rule about the emails, because the Broward County court lacks jurisdiction over the Internet.
Through his attorney Jennifer Cohen Glasser of the U.S. law firm Akerman Senterfitt, Rowe reportedly has indicated that he would be open to an amicable settlement of the lawsuit through mediation. However Vaz, who is represented by Jamaican-born lawyer David Brown, allegedly is intent on pursuing the lawsuit in the Broward County Court, which could be extended to include other parties implicated in the controversial email.