‘They lie too much’: Trinidad’s Opposition leader suing Health Minister for defamation

Kamla Persad-Bissessar says she is willing to bring Terrence Deyalsingh to court.

Leader of the main opposition United National Congress (UNC), Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has filed legal action in the High Court against Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh in relation to claims that she engaged in a cover-up of actual swine flu statistics.

“Terrence, I have court clothes. I shall speak to you in court.”

— Kamla Persad-Bissessar

This follows a statement made by Deyalsingh last November, in which he alleged that Persad-Bissessar instructed public officers to hide data regarding H1N1 (swine flu) related deaths for the period 2013-2015.

The opposition leader subsequently issued a pre-action protocol letter calling for an apology from the Minister within seven days. She said that having not received a response from the Health Minister, she instructed her attorneys to pursue legal proceedings in the High Court.

Lies and untruths

Terrence Deyalsingh, the Health Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Speaking at an opposition forum late Monday, Persad-Bissessar said she decided to move forward with legal action against the Health Minister.

“Today I called my lawyers to file a case in the Supreme Court against Terrible Terrence. For defamation against me. They lie too much. I am not going to leave them alone,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said she was claiming for aggravated damages, exemplary damages and costs over the “lies and untruths” publicly uttered by Deyalsingh.

“Terrence, I have court clothes. I shall speak to you in court. We shall have our day in court to deal with your lies,” she said.