KINGSTON - Jamaica: Business man Gordon 'Butch' Stewart and his legal team will probably decide whether to pursue a legal case of defamation against The Gleaner of Jamaica due to an article created by the news organisation stating, "Court Freezes 'Butch' Stewart's Assets In Gorstew".
The said news article has since been removed from the Gleaner's website which is now met with "Access Denied You are not authorized to access this page." However, Google has cache the webpage with the following.
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
The Supreme Court this afternoon granted an order to freeze the assets of businessman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart's in his company, Gorstew Limited.
The application was brought by businessman Noel Sloley who is also on the Opposition's slate of senators for the new Parliament.
Sloley had been accused of defaming Stewart.
Arising from the accusation, Sloley's business place was searched and a computer seized.
The computer was searched in relation to an alleged defamatory email.
Sloley subsequently filed a suit in the Supreme Court and the matter also went to the Court of Appeal.
Sloley eventually won the case and was awarded cost totalling more than $40 million.
Today, Sloley went to the Supreme Court and obtained a charging order.
This in effect means that Stewart's shares in Gorstew are frozen and will remain so until he pays the cost.
According to Stewart the article claimed that his shares in a company had been frozen due to his failure to pay legal costs to a person.
Stewart said that the article "is false and defamatory," adding "this publication was and is factually incorrect.
"The freezing order in question is in respect of costs claimed by Jamaica Tours Limited, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
"The publication therefore in The Gleaner is false, malicious and defamatory of Mr Stewart and has caused significant damage, not only to his reputation, but the companies which he represents," the statement said, noting it has also resulted "in significant losses.
"The publication was made without any reference to or consultation with Mr Stewart or his representative(s) to verify the truthfulness or otherwise of the story.
"In the circumstances, in defence of his reputation and the various companies in which he has an interest, Mr Stewart is constrained to initiate legal action against The Gleaner Company to protect his and the companies he represents reputation, and to seek damages in the region of some J$17.5 billion, approximately US$143 million, a conservative estimate."