A federal judge has ruled that a US-based Haitian journalist Leo Joseph defamed Haiti’s PM Laurent Lamothe and South Florida businessman Patrice Baker, when he reported on the sale of a telecommunications company, Haitel:
A Haitian-American journalist defamed Haiti’s prime minister in reporting on the sale of a telecommunications company acquired by the Caribbean country’s government, a federal judge in Florida has ruled. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and South Florida businessman Patrice Baker sued Leo Joseph in Miami federal court in September over his reporting for the New York-based Haiti-Observateur.
U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro said in a Feb. 6 ruling that she agreed with Lamothe and Baker that Joseph had published false and malicious reports about Lamothe’s role in the sale of Haitel. Ungaro also prohibited Joseph from ever again writing about Lamothe or Baker in their professional, personal or political lives. Joseph’s reporting is “replete with statements that are outrageous, scandalous and reminiscent of a tabloid publication,” Ungaro wrote.
Lamothe and Baker had asked Ungaro for a default judgment after the clerk of court found Joseph in default on Jan. 16 for failing to enter a plea or otherwise respond to the lawsuit.
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