Editorial Staff
9 months ago

Editorial Staff
9 months ago

Vere Bird III files to appeal decision in defamation suit with Prime Minister

By Zaya Williams

Attorney and politician Vere Bird III maintain that he was defamed by Prime Minister Gaston Browne back in 2019 and is therefore taking his claim to a higher court.

In late April 2023, Prime Minister Gaston Browne won the defamation suit filed against him for statements made on social media in 2019.

Bird was claiming “damages for defamation against the defendant, for words published and broadcasted on Facebook on November 5, 6, and 8, 2019”.

Browne allegedly made statements referring to a Cabinet decision of 2003 where the claimant was offered an acre of land for a purchase price of $25,000.

At that time, Bird III’s father was Minister of Agriculture and Lands.

Justice Nicola Byer, having heard from both parties in a brief trial, found that “the defendant is entitled to rely on the defenses of fair comment and truth which provides complete defenses to the words spoken…”

But Bird insists that the statements made about him were false and therefore filed a notice of appeal on Friday.

His application listed a total of 15 reasons why he is appealing the decision, the first one being that “the Learned Judge erred in law in holding that the Respondent was entitled to rely on the defenses of fail, comment, and truth which provided complete defenses to the defamatory words spoken by the Respondent.”

But Prime Minister Gaston Browne said Vere obtained a Cabinet creeper to sell him an acre of government land at a concessional rate for $25K. 

He explained that this is a concession reserved for Parliamentarians to which decision to which he was not entitled.

“In addition, the decision was not obtained through the established channel for such a decision. His claim that the now deceased Rupert Sterling, who was not a member of the Cabinet obtained and passed on the Cabinet decision to him, (Vere the Turd) is a crookish absurdity”, Browne added

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