Leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, has filed a defense in the alleged “rapist ministers” matter, in response to a lawsuit by ministers of cabinet in the Roosevelt Skerrit-led administration.
The defense filed by J. Gildon Richards, Linton’s attorney, pleads “truth, fair comments, public interest and qualified privileges.”
In the defense, Linton is not denying the publication of the words complained off. However, he denies that the allegations made therein were either false or were made in “reckless disregard as to whether they were false or not.”
According to the documents, obtained by DNO, Linton “honestly believed that the statement complained of constituted fair comment on a matter of public interest published on an occasion of qualified privilege.”
“The defendants deny that they should be restrained from bringing to the larger public notice, the unchallenged allegations of grave misconduct by ministers of government who allegedly misuse their offices and the State’s resources in the manner and or for the purpose mentioned in the particularized statement complained about,” the documents stated.
They went on, “The 1st Defendant also believed that by extraction or attempt to extract sexual service or favour from girls and women who sought and or obtained public assistance, the ministers who engaged in that conduct converted the public assistance into a form of payment for sexual engagement with those unfortunate girls and women.”
The documents also outlined a report dated June 19, 2013, filed at the Roseau police station by a young lady (name withheld), who was seeking assistance from a minister of government. They noted that when the young lady went to the minister’s home at 12:15 hrs, he tried to force himself on her.
“In these premises, the defendants will urge the court to dismiss the claim and refuse the damages and other relief sought by the claimants in the claim form and in the statement of claim,” the documents stated.
Speaking at the UWP “Youth In IT Too” rally at St Joseph recently, Linton referred to alleged activities by ministers as rape and noted that there is no honor in a government who harbors them.
“There can be 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,” he said.
Linton was asked to retract the statements and he was subsequently sued for $1-million by all 18 ministers of government for defamation.