Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Facing law suit, Kaieteur News forced to retract libelous articles targeting WIPA President

Kaieteur News, facing a huge law suit, was forced to retract its articles published on February 11, 12, 19 and 20 concerning West Indies Players Association and its president and CEO Dinanath Ramnarine and payments to players arising out of a settlement with the West Indies Cricket Board known as the New York Agreement.
The newspaper issued a retraction and apology to WIPA and Ramnarine on Sunday for the "unsubstantiated statements" contained in the published articles.It was clear from the onset that the KN stories were intended to malign and embarrass the players association head.

In their retraction statement, Kaieteur News stated that "at no time was any player paid more than the other, including the 'Big Four' as alleged, nor did Mr Ramnarine, WIPA's Board nor any player do anything wrong or act in a manner inconsistent with the wishes of WIPA's full membership".

"Moreover, contrary to reports, Mr Ramnarine was not underground and had in fact contacted this newspaper on February 12, 2012 to clarify the contents of the articles."

The statement added: "The articles contained many further statements that also proved to be unfounded. Records provided by WIPA showed that on October 10, 2009, after intensive negotiations with the WICB, the New York Agreement was signed by WICB President Dr (Julian) Hunte and WIPA's president, Mr Ramnarine, on behalf of WIPA's members. Records show the NYA settled WIPA's claims for the settlement amount of USD$450,000.

"WIPA instructed the West Indies Cricket Board on the manner of disbursement. The players at the said special meeting had unanimously agreed that, in recognition of the work that WIPA has done and was required to do, when WIPA received the settlement funds, that deductions would be made to cover WIPA' s expenses, i.e. a third of the settlement funds in the total amount of USD$150,000.

"The WICB paid the 17 players in equal amounts of $17,647.06 totaling USD$300,000 and WIPA $150,000 directly. At no time did any player receive more than the other," the statement explained.

The 17 players were Christopher Gayle, Jerome Taylor, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Brendan Nash, Denesh Ramdin, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Runako Morton, Andrew Richardson, Narsingh Deonarine, Lionel Baker, Adrian Barath, Ravi Rampaul, Daren Powell, Fidel Edwards, and Sewnarine Chattergoon.

"Kaieteur News is satisfied that it was irresponsible with the publications based on other information received and hereby offers an unqualified retraction and apology," the statement concluded.

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