Lawsuit threat for Persad-Bissessar from central businessman

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

A central businessman is threatening to take Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to court over statements she made on the United National Congress (UNC) Monday Night Forum platform on May 9.

Kida Hercules, the owner of Kida Quality and Quantity Construction Services, has also denied any political affiliation with Youth Development and National Service Minister Foster Cummings, as alleged by the Opposition Leader.

Hercules’ attorneys, on Thursday last week, wrote to Persad-Bissessar giving her a deadline of 4 pm on Friday to agree to an offer to pay $250,000 in compensation for her damaging statements about him.

Attorney Taradath Singh also called on the Opposition Leader to immediately desist from making further statements about his client as well as issue a written apology and take down any publication or broadcast of her statements.

Hercules has emphatically denied the allegations. Singh said statements made by Persad-Bissessar were streamed and/or televised live on social media and viewed by thousands of people locally and beyond, seen and heard via video and audio recording, and went ‘viral’.

The letter said the statements caused his client grief, emotional trauma, suffering, and financial loss.

“The gravity of your defamatory statements and/or publication and/ or communication has struck the heart of our client, his business, and emotionally tore him apart, among other things,” the letter added.

The letter said it was noted that the “injurious statements” were purported to be partially contained in a confidential intelligence report intended for police and military and with it being publicised, it “left our client open to the unforeseen attack on his reputation and without an avenue for his defence and/or response.”

Hercules denied the alleged acts outlined by the Opposition Leader and said her statements were made without investigation as to their merits or truthfulness.

He said the statements discredited his honest, hard-working disposition and reputation, and branded him as a person of ill repute and to be scorned.

They also lowered his estimation in the minds of people who knew him or may in the future come to know him, the letter stated.

Singh said because of the statements, Hercules was bombarded with comments from friends, family members and others and has caused him “considerable distress and embarrassment”

He also said Hercules’s two minor children, nine and four, were also negatively affected and traumatised.

“Our client’s character is maligned and the effects of your reckless and false and misleading statements continue to worsen with the passage of every hour,” Persad-Bissessar was told.