Laurent Lamothe wins case against Haiti Observateur

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe won what, to some, was an unsurprising victory in his libel suit against New York based website Haiti Observateur. In two articles published in August of 2012 the website, through its reporter Leo Joseph, extended theories about the prime minister and his business partner Patrice Baker's role in the sale of the telecommunications company Haitel that U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro has now declared to be false and malicious.


The articles posited that the company, which shut down after an inability to pay its debts, was bought by the Haitian government in a deal brokered by Lamothe in which he fixed its sale price of $25 million, and positioned himself to receive, what they described as, the 'lion's share' of the profit. Upon noting the libelous nature of the articles Lamothe and Baker filed a lawsuit in September 2012, citing the damage done to their political and business profiles after the implications of corruption and conspiracy made by Joseph and the newspaper which has reported its weekly circulation within the Haitian Diaspora to reach 75,000.

Judge Ungaro ruled on February 06, 2013 that the statements made by the defendant showed malice and likened it to the stuff of tabloid magazines, saying there was no adequate remedy at law,' for the damage done to the reputations of Lamothe and Baker. The default ruling, given as the defendant claimed to have been unaware of a suit against him and failed to show up in court, also saw him permanently restricted from publishing any future work that concerns the plaintiffs in any aspect of their personal and professional lives.

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Read more: Laurent Lamothe, Media, News, Haiti Observateur, Media Newspaper, Newspaper, Haitel, Leo Joseph, Patrice Baker, False Information, Media

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