Opposition Member of Parliament, Bishop Juan Edghill, has been slapped with a $200 Million lawsuit by Finance Minister Winston Jordan for libel, false charges and malicious prosecution.
The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Roysdale Force on Jordan’s behalf and stems from the private criminal charges that Edghill had filed in the Magistrates’ Court against the Finance Minister.
The private criminal charges, which were discontinued by the DPP, were related to the Government’s funding of the Durban park project.
In his submission to the Court, the Attorney for the Finance Minister is contending that the intention of Juan Edghill by filing the private charge of Misconduct in Public Office was to embarrass, humiliate and cause the Applicant to suffer public odium and contempt.
“The institution of the aforesaid Criminal Charge of Misconduct in Public Office against the Applicant were widely reported in the local newspapers, radio, electronic media and was accessible and circulated on the World Wide Web and the Applicant thereafter received telephone calls from family, friends and overseas officials, inclusive of officials employed at International Financial Organisations. The Applicant has suffered significant harm to his reputation and integrity as a direct result of the institution of the Criminal Proceeding by the Respondent against the Applicant”, the Attorney contends.
In the filing, it was also stated that as a Member of Parliament, Juan Edghill was at all material times aware and ought to have been aware that the Applicant as Minister of Finance “did not pay or authorize the payment of the sum of $906,000,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Six Million Dollars) to Homestretch Development Inc., and as such the Applicant could not have paid or authorized any payment of the sum of $906,000,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Six Million Dollars) to Homestretch Development Inc., and therefore could not have held honest belief that the Applicant paid or caused to be paid the sum of $906,000,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Six Million Dollars) to Homestretch Development Inc., as alleged by the Respondent”.
Jordan through his lawsuit points out that Edghill was aware that it was the National Assembly approved the sum of $906,000,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Six Million Dollars) to be made available to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
The matter will come up later this month.