OPPOSITION MP Dr Roodal Moonilal is taking legal action against Facebook blogger Rhoda Bharath for alleged defamatory statements she made against him.
The letter dated April 21, 2020 stated: “By publishing the said statements, as the journalist you hold yourself out to be, you displayed a reckless and wanton disregard for your duty to publish in the public’s interest in a fair, accurate and non-malicious manner.
“Such conduct constitutes a flagrant act of irresponsible journalism.”
The letter is signed by attorney Vashisht Seepersad who said he will instruct senior attorney Larry Lalla in the matter.
The issue arises out of an Express story written by Anna Ramdass on April 4, 2020 that stated that Moonilal and a concerned citizens group were to donate a 100 cases of water to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) for use in the South regions “as a way to assist officers who will need additional supplies given the onerous task that they are expected to undertake…”
The letter stated that Bharath had posted that “There is a lot that is Curious about this Anna Ramdass Story.”
It added that what she published about Moonilal gave the impression that he was involved in criminal activity and was being charitable to the TTPS to gain favour or leniency with them.
The letter stated that to the ordinary and reasonable minded viewer reading Bharath’s statement “will believe you to be implying that the current Member of Parliament for Oropouche East Dr the Honourable Roodal Moonilal is currently being investigated by the TTPS for some illegal activity. This is simply not the case.”
Moonilal is claiming exemplary and/or aggravated damages for libel, an injunction to restrain Bharath or her agents from further publishing the said libel about Moonilal and costs associated with the legal action.