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Aug 30, 2021

Former B.T.B. Director Wins Defamation Suit

Karen Bevans

This morning Supreme Court Justice Westmin James awarded former B.T.B. director, Karen Bevans, the largest defamation award granted in recent history. Justice James awarded Bevans sixty thousand dollars in compensatory damages and thirty thousand dollars in aggravated damages, after concluding that comments made by Prime Minister John Briceño in a Love FM/TV interview, were defamatory and indefensible. PM Briceño had suggested Bevans had been awarded a lucrative “crony contract.” But Justice James ruled that PM Briceño presented no evidence to back his claim. Now PM Briceño and RSV Limited are ordered to make that ninety thousand dollars payout. News Five spoke via zoom to Bevan’s Attorney Dean Barrow.


Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow, Attorney for Karen Bevans

“He had no difficulty in finding that every meaning that we alleged and said arose very clearly from the natural and ordinary meanings of the words. Everything that we alleged, he found, made out, basically at the face of the word. And, I have to say that when you get the judgment, and as soon as I get a copy, I will forward you that, you will see that it took no great feat of textural analysis for him to come to the conclusion he did. In other words, I am trying to say that the plain and obvious and ordinary meaning of those words was in fact apparent to anybody who heard or read what the honorable Prime Minister had to say.”


Paul Lopez

“Who is it that the case is being brought against?”


Dean Barrow

“It is brought against John Briceño. He is Prime Minister, but not in his capacity as Prime Minister. Although, that is the capacity in which he uttered the words complained of. But he is not being sued as an official of the government, in the sense that the judgment now being issued is a judgment that can be enforced against the government. It is a judgment that can be enforced against John Briceño personally. To say, as the Prime Minister did, as the Honorable Briceño did, that Mrs. Bevans gave herself a crony contract, that it was a renewal she did at the same time she was firing people from BTB, which was in March, April of 2020, when in fact her contract had been renewed in April of 2019. So any way you looked at it, anywhere you sliced it, it was clear that what the Prime Minister said was not factual and therefore the justification, the defense of justification failed. The defense that what he said was factual and true was not factual and not true.”

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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