MIAMI, USA (sentinel.ht) – Former Deputy Arnel Belizaire and presidential candidate Newton Saint Juste will testify on behalf of Parnell Duverger, owner of Omega World News, on December 14 in hopes of lowering a $2.3 million dollar defamation suit brought forth by Salim Succar and officials of the government of former PM Laurent Lamothe.
In Haiti, Belizaire and Saint Juste are pushing the court date as a criminal trial against the former prime minister, his former ministerial counsel, Succar and former Government Commissioner, Fresnel Jean Baptiste, but this is not the case. The two are requested by Duverger’s attorney to testify in a trial that is aimed at determining the damages owed to Succar.
Succar is requesting $2.3 million in damages of which $300,000 is compensatory. The defense is hoping Belizaire and Saint Juste may offer information at the December 14, 2015 trial that may lower what compensation that Duverger may have to pay.
Judge Darrin P. Gayles ruled on December 8, 2014 that Parnell Duverger and Omega World News was guilty of defamation when it published an article claiming Salim Succar was a “gun runner” for Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.
The article claimed Succar had purchased illegal arms, specifically from Israel and Russia, violating a U.S. arms embargo and is being investigated by the FBI and State Department. All claims were found untrue.
The article was written and contributed to the news agency by Emmanuel Roy, a lawyer who has since been disbarred from practicing law in Florida and New York and is serving a 6-year prison sentence for fraud in unrelated cases.
Roy was unable to convince the judge of another claim, that he had worked as adviser to the Martelly National Palace. He also wrote for another new agency, Tout Haiti, which is facing an ongoing defamation case as well.
In the interest of full disclosure, The Sentinel did accept a contribution from Emmanuel Roy in 2012. The subject of the article was his personal account, mostly grievances, as an adviser to President Michel Martelly.