By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SUPREME Court judge is now contemplating the fate of a former ZNS reporter who is accused of giving false testimony while being cross-examined for his alleged involvement in defamatory websites and articles published against billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Bacon.
Justice Indra Charles yesterday heard arguments from lawyers for Sherman Brown, a former broadcast journalist, as well as lawyers representing Mr Bacon, in respect of an application commenced by the latter for an order to commit Mr Brown to prison for giving false testimony during a cross-examination before the deputy registrar in November 2014.
When the hearing resumed yesterday, Mr Brown’s lawyer, Krystal Rolle, submitted that the evidence that Mr Bacon’s lawyers were using to implicate Mr Brown of giving false testimony during the cross-examination was “not admissible”.
However, Mr Bacon’s lawyer, Robert Adams, countered by submitting that even if the evidence obtained were inadmissible, there was still a good portion of information or evidence that remains “unchallenged” by Mr Brown.
Mr Adams also submitted that the committal application was based on the “seriousness of (the) false claims” and to protect and uphold respect for the administration of justice.
Mr Adams further validated his arguments by quoting extensively from United Kingdom Supreme Court documents.
Upon hearing the submissions from both parties, Justice Charles reserved her decision to consider the arguments put forth in yesterday’s hearing.
Yesterday’s proceedings stem from an ongoing feud between Mr Bacon and fashion designer Peter Nygard, who own adjacent mansions on Lyford Cay.
Mr Bacon, an environmentalist, claims that Mr Nygard has retaliated against him because he believes it was Mr Bacon who complained about the alleged environmental damage being done by the dredging of the seabed to expand the Nygard Cay property.
Mr Bacon is suing Mr Nygard for $100m for defamation. He has alleged that the fashion designer organised rallies, marches and protests where he was defamed, created and distributed defamatory T-shirts and signs, published defamatory accusations about him and used websites to defame him.
However, Mr Nygard filed a $50m countersuit in April accusing Mr Bacon of a “vendetta” against him, including harassment and frivolous litigation.
Each man has denied the other’s allegations.
In July, however, a New York judge threw out 105 of the 135 allegedly defamatory statements Mr Bacon claimed Mr Nygard had levelled against him during a “harassment campaign” in the Bahamas.
Justice Cynthia Kern ruled that Mr Bacon was too late in filing the majority of his claims of defamation against Mr Nygard.
In a decision dated July 28, Judge Kern said many of the alleged statements were made more than one year before the lawsuit was filed, thus exceeding the state’s statute of limitations.