Haitian-American Newspaper Sued for Libel-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

Media Ethics News:

By: Sydney Smith

Haitian prime minister Laurent Lamothe and a Florida “businessman” claim the Haiti-Observateur’s August and September articles were libelous as well as “outrageous, scandalous and reminiscent of a tabloid publication,” the Associated Press reported.

According to its website, the newspaper is a 41-year-old “Haitian weekly” with a circulation of 75,000.

One Haiti-Observateur article claimed that the prime minister “has not answered questions” about “the sale of a telecommunications company acquired by the Haitian government,” the AP explained.  Other reports “implicate Lamothe and Baker in illegal business practices, racketeering, corruption and conspiracy, which has damaged their reputations in their political and business communities,” the AP reported the lawsuit claimed.

The AP quoted Lamothe’s “special adviser” Salim Succar as saying: ‘‘The newspaper spread false information about the prime minister and we are taking legal measures to request that they be retracted or appropriate remedy is given.”

In a follow-up story, the Associated Press reported that the newspaper’s reporter Leo Joseph defended his reporting.



Legal action is always dangerous.

When the plaintiff appears for a sworn deposition there are few limits to the questions the defense can ask. There are many embarrassments that can become public knowledge.

It is sometimes best to let sleeping dogs lie.


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