Ramon Cervantes and Gaspar Vega headed to trial in July

The lawsuit for slander of the character of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is headed to trial in July, and Vega himself will take the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has disallowed an application by counsel for Gaspar Vega, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, to amend the statement of claim to reflect that the alleged slander of Vega which occurred in October of 2014 in Orange Walk was not only heard over the radio but also via loudspeaker to the audience at the location, Mameyal Farm, where the memorial service for the late Ramon Cervantes Sr. took place. Vega sued Cervantes over a radio broadcast in which allegations were made that he, Vega, along with a senior police officer, ordered a hit on the younger Cervantes that claimed the life of his father, Don Ramon Cervantes Sr. The allegations were made in a recording of a phone call to the elder Cervantes’ widow, Vilma, from one of his accused killers, Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, who remains on the run. Castillo alleges that Vega and a senior police officer set up his political rival to die, but his father was kidnapped and killed on the Honey Camp Road instead, last July. All the persons involved in the case were at court for the decision this morning and we spoke to all of them, beginning with Williams, who explains that the application sought to expand the media by which the alleged slander took place but this was already covered.

Rodwell Williams, SC – Attorney for Hon. Gaspar Vega vlcsnap-2015-05-08-12h05m42s10
“We saw to amend to aver that the offending words were not only broadcast over the radio station, but also over a public announcement system at the forum at Mamayal Farm to people who were in attendance. While at the same time over the air – that’s basically it.”

Reporter
“What will be the effect of that sir?”

Rodwell Williams, SC
“Well, that’s simply to say that it was made at the same time in both mediums and the judge felt that as it stands, it covered it. So that amendment was not allowed because as it stands, it covers the nature of the case already that over the air and the evidence indicate also at the forum. So, there is no need for the amendment then.”

Reporter
“So what is the next step at this time sir?”

Rodwell Williams, SC

“Trial, 23-24 July.

Reporter

“are both parties sticking to their positions?”

Rodwell Williams, SC

“We are certainly insisting that we proceed to trial.”

 Vega himself offered brief comment on the impact of the case on his personal life.

 

Hon. Gaspar Vegavlcsnap-2015-05-08-12h05m10s203
“I’ve maintained calm. I know that the truth will prevail and there is only one God and he knows everything.”

From the other said, Cervantes says his position has not changed.

 

Ramon “Monchie” Cervantez –  Respondent in Defamation Suit

“He has put fort his case for slander and I am defending myself as  against such case.”

 

Reporter

“If indeed the court decides that indeed you did say such disparaging comments and it ought not to have been said. Are you prepared to retract?”

 Ramon “Monchie” Cervantezvlcsnap-2015-05-08-12h05m24s116

“I have never said any disparaging comments about Mr. Vega.”

Reporter
“But indeed the court rules that way.”

Rt. Hon. Said Musa –  Attorney for the Cervantes Family
“The point is you are asking a hypothetical question. Cleary, whatever the court rules we as law abiding people, will comply with the court ruling.”

 

And his counsel, Senior Counsel Said Musa, looks forward to what will happen in July.

 

Rt. Hon. Said Musa,vlcsnap-2015-05-08-12h04m37s122

“The claimant, Mr. Vega, had applied through his attorney to amend his statement of claim and it was argued at the last session. Today the Court gave the ruling and the amendment was disallowed.”

Reporter
“The interpretation your client gave us the last time was that Mr. Vega was trying to craftily excuse himself from the case, but he and his attorney just said that the record was wrong. Can you explain for us what is the effect from a legal perspective?”

Rt. Hon. Said Musa
“Well the point is that at the last hearing Mr. Vega did not show up and the judge made some comments about that, that all parties should be present at every stage of the proceedings. Well, today we notice he showed up right?”

 

 

The case will be tried on the 23rd and 24th of July.

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