Taken from the Jamaica Observer – 05/28/2012
THE hate-mail saga deepened last week with Rainforest Seafoods Limited joining Daryl Vaz in accusing Jamaican-born Florida attorney, Professor David Rowe, of authoring the email that libelled several prominent Jamaican politicians and businessmen.
Rainforest Seafoods, whose principal is Brian Jardim, son of Sandals Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, joined Vaz on May 22, 2012 in his amended complaint which was filed in the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida.
The Montego Bay, St James-based company, the largest distributor of seafood products in the Caribbean, alleged in court papers that the offending emails were specifically designed to injuriously affect its business and professional reputation “by falsely claiming that the company bribed Government officials and was responsible for ‘the total decimation of the local fresh water fish farming industry’.”
The lawsuit came a week after Rowe failed to get the Florida courts to block Vaz from serving subpoenas on Google and Yahoo! in his bid to unmask the author of the email in which he (Vaz) was libelled.
Vaz, the former minister of information and telecommunications, filed a lawsuit on April 13, 2012 in which he accused Rowe of using a pseudonym to libel him and some of the biggest names in Jamaican politics and business.
Using smart technology, experts traced the e-mail back to its origins and the subpoenas were served as part of efforts to have this evidence admitted into court.
In addition to Jardim — who is also the proprietor of Margaritaville — the email under the name “Paul Azan”, also libelled former Prime Minister P J Patterson, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, former Finance Minister Audley Shaw, former Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, and Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, chairman of the Sandals group which includes the Jamaica Observer.
Patterson said he had referred the matter to his lawyers for their advice and Dr Tufton said he, too, was seeking legal advice.
The others named in the offensive email which was distributed globally via the Internet, are expected to follow suit.
In the court documents, Vaz and Rainforest Seafoods accuse Rowe of “hiding behind pseudonyms” to fabricate and publish a document purported to be an official ‘US Law Enforcement Memo to Turks and Caicos Special Investigation and Prosecutions Team’.
The document made “direct accusations of bribery, money laundering, corruption and close affiliations with a notorious convicted drug lord”.
Rowe is denying that he is the author of the document and has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. He also took the unsuccessful action against the subpoenas on Google and Yahoo!
Contacted by the Jamaica Observer for a comment on the new development yesterday, attorney David Brown who is representing Rowe, said he was in a meeting and could not speak at the time.
The email raised questions because while it libelled the others, it rose to the defence of two ex-Appliance Traders employees — Dr Jeffery Pyne and Patrick Lynch — who are both facing the courts on fraud charges connected to the ATL pension fund.