Senior counsel, Tony Astaphan, has brushed aside a defense filed by leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, in a defamation matter involving all ministers of government.
“That defense is not worth the paper or the ink or the time it took to print it,” he told Kairi’s Heng Program.
Linton was sued by the ministers following remarks he made at a rally in St. Joseph in which he referred to alleged activities by government ministers as rape.
He stated that there is no honor in a government that “harbors rapist ministers and upholds extortion of sexual services from young people seeking the facilitation of ministers to get personal development assistance from the public purse.”
The ministers subsequently filed a defamation lawsuit.
Linton then filed a defense pleading “truth, fair comments, public interest and qualified privileges.”
But according to Astaphan, who is one of the lawyers representing the ministers, the defense did not take into the consideration the “plurality of the ministers.”
“I am not going to get into the merits and demerits of the matter,” he stated. “But if I make the complaint that ministers have raped and ministers have extorted sexual favors in exchange for public assistance, that has to be the defense that has to be met … the plurality of the ministers.”
He explained that the defense is suggesting that all Linton was speaking about was only one minister.
“There is nothing in the defense that we have seen to suggest that every minister of government has raped anybody or extorted anybody in exchange for public assistance,” he stated. “Nothing in there at all to cover the allegation against the collective ministers.”