KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent– Radio talk show host Eduardo “E.G.” Lynch has lost a third appeal in a defamation case brought against him by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
The Court of Appeal, in the most recent judgement, ruled that Lynch pay Gonsalves damages of EC$140,000.
Lynch must also pay EC$20,000 cost at the High Court and EC$20,000 cost in the Court of Appeal and interest from the date of assessment, which was in 2008.
“Now, that is a significant judgement,” said Gonsalves’s lawyer Anthony Astaphan, adding that the judgement “has to be, if not the highest, one of the highest award for defamation in the history of the [Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States].”
“The critical question in that appeal was whether or not Dr. Ralph Gonsalves was entitled to significant damages, whether significant damages would fetter freedom of expression or constitute a chilling effect, whether or not they should pay cost and interest to Dr. Gonsalves,” Astaphan said on Thursday while commenting on the ruling.
The case, which was also brought against BDS Ltd., owners of NICE Radio, stemmed from Lynch’s accusing Gonsalves of using public funds to finance a trip to Rome for members of his family.