Opposition Member of Parliament and Leader of the Alliance for Change Khemraj Ramjattan has been ordered by High Court Judge Jo-Ann Barlow to pay former Member of Parliament and current High Commissioner to India, Charrandass Persaud $7 million for defamation.
It was Charrandass Persaud who as a Member of the APNU+AFC Government in Parliament voted against the Government in a no-confidence motion, triggering elections and the eventual ouster of the coalition from office.
Ramjattan who was Minister of Public Security at the time had made statements in the local media and on social media that Persaud has been financially compensated for his vote against the then Government.
Persaud had always denied the claim and filed a $30 million lawsuit against Ramjattan.
During the Court case, Mr. Ramjattan argued that the statements attributed to him were not defamatory. The Judge did not agree with that contention and pointed to the evidence before the Court which saw Ramjattan making specific reference to Persaud.
The Judge found that Ramjattan had indeed defamed Persaud with his reference to “piece of silver” and “Judus” while referencing the vote cast against the APNU+AFC government by Persaud.
Charrandass Persaud was a member of the Alliance for Change. He left the country just after his December 2018 vote and only returned to Guyana when the Government changed following the 2020 elections.
The new government appointed him as Guyana’s High Commissioner to India. He is still serving in that position.