News Americas: The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal has recommended a retrial in the defamation case brought by Caribbean immigrant and US citizen, Dr. Isaac Newton, against Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
The ruling on Thursday comes after Dr. Newton won his defamation lawsuit against the Prime Minister last June over statements made against the international consultant in 2017.
Justices Louise Esther Blenman, Gerard Ferrara and Trevor Ward allowed the appeal but ruled that the claim be retired by a different judge in the High Court.
“An Appellate Court is not best placed to make such an assessment; that task best falls to be discharged by the trial judge who will have the opportunity to see and hear the witnesses,” the justices wrote.
The Antigua & Barbuda High Court on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020, handed down judgment in favor of Dr Newton. But PM Browne appealed and on Thursday, January 13, 2022, the justices overturned the high court’s ruling while calling for a retrial.
This new action implies that the case is now a do over instead of a dismissal.
The case stemmed from comments the prime minister made in a March 20, 2017, press release. Browne is alleged to have questioned Dr Newton’s stewardship as an ambassador under the former United Progressive Party, (UPP), administration.
Browne’s critique of Dr. Newton was in response to his critique of comments made by the prime minister in parliament in response to the US State Department’s 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) annual study.