Ricky Raghunanan

Business magnate Ricky Raghunanan has threatened to sue Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) leader Phillip Alexander for defamation.

In a pre-action protocol letter issued to Alexander yesterday, Raghunanan’s lawyers Criston J Williams and Kashif Gibson claimed that Alexander defamed their client in a “live video” on his Facebook page posted last week Tuesday.

In the post, which was viewed 13,300 times and shared 448 times at the time the legal letter was written, Alexander sought to question Raghunanan’s alleged connections to the People’s National Movement (PNM) and United National Congress (UNC).

Gibson said: “In their natural and ordinary meaning, the said words were meant and were understood to mean that our client lacks integrity or honesty and is especially susceptible to bribery. It also indicates that he uses a position of trust for dishonest gain, as well as he promotes, attempts to promote, and has in the pats promoted activities which have resulted in fraudulent and illegal gain.”

Gibson suggested that the post damaged Raghunanan’s character and brought him into ridicule and contempt.

“To make our position clear; essentially your statements are defamatory as they tend to lower the perception of our client in the estimation of right-thinking members of society and so cause him to be shunned or avoided or be exposed to hatred, contempt, ridicule or which may disparage him in his office, trade, calling, profession or business,” he said.

Through the proposed lawsuit, Raghunanan is seeking an injunction barring Alexander from repeating the controversial allegations and apologies on social media and in daily newspapers.

Raghunanan, who operates the Ricky Raghunanan Group of Companies, is also seeking financial compensation.

As part of the letter, Gibson requested information on Alexander’s finances to determine if he has the ability to pay compensation if Raghunanan is eventually successful.

Gibson gave Alexander 14 days in which to respond to the letter before the lawsuit is filed.

Alexander is no stranger to defamation lawsuit as he was ordered to pay businessman Andrew Gabriel $775,000 in compensation for defamation, last year. The judgement in that case is currently under appeal.

In January, the Urban Development Company of T&T (Udecott) and its chairman Noel Garcia threatened to sue Alexander for defamation after he made allegations on the $89 million renovations recently done to President’s House.