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Nov 12, 2015

…Chief Justice Reserves Decision in Slander Suit to December Twenty-second

Rodwell Williams

Williams admits that indeed, he has been forced to rely on secondary evidence because they could not get a copy of the allegedly offensive broadcast. He’s hoping that the Justice will allow that secondary evidence. Their case against Fiesta FM and even against Ramon Cervantes Jr. depends on it.


Rodwell Williams, Attorney for Gaspar Vega

“The case is essentially based on what is called secondary evidence as you heard, or being able to use the evidence of people who heard, including Minister Vega, who heard the broadcast of the conversation and who understood the Spanish language and seek to share what they heard. We say that we don’t have to word for word plea and prove what was said, once what we plea is there and our pleading was put there in English and Spanish in terms of what we say was said, and nobody said anything to the contrary. We are saying that what our witnesses did was to say substantially, and that’s their burden – at the minimum they must be able to give evidence substantially in verification of what we pleaded, what we alleged. We believe certainly that was done.”


Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Fiesta FM

“There was a second Mr. Bobadilla, a Mr. Evangelisto Bobadilla, who was supposed to come and say he was present and heard it. That would be slander. But they didn’t call that witness so there was no witness who came to Court who said that they were present at the place and heard it played. So we say that again, Mr. Musa said certainly that they will fail against his client as well.”


Rodwell Williams

“I think they both have merit, but there are some technical challenges in terms of…you see slander and libel…they are basically the same kind of thing. And what Section Seven said is that they both should be treated as in a permanent form. I can slander you by sticking up my finger, no words spoken, and it’s not in permanent form and the law says in permanent form. But how do I bring that evidence in permanent form when I don’t have it, you have it? The producer, the broadcasting station has it. I don’t have it in permanent form, so we are saying there’s an exception when we don’t have it in permanent form, and you can bring it and prove it by secondary evidence, which we sought to do.”


Love FM also carried a broadcast of the proceedings from the Cervantes Farm on the Mamayal Road, but they settled out of court. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved his decision until December twenty-second.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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