Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has threatened to sue two Facebook users, who allegedly made defamatory comments about him in relation to the ongoing investigation into the Drugs Sou-Sou (DSS).
Griffith made the threats in two pre-action protocol letters issued to Mark John Hamel-Smith, of Bay Road, St James, and Kenlee Ramoutar, a security guard from Couva, last week.
According to Griffith, the two posted the statements in the comment section of Facebook posts from daily newspapers on Griffith’s recent vacation during the probe.
Both social media users suggested controversial reasons for Griffith using his vacation leave at the time, but their exact statements cannot be republished as they may be eventually found to be defamatory.
“We wish to make it clear that your allegations are baseless, unfounded, and untruthful…As such, to publish such words against the COP is defamatory, having no justification or truth that would warrant publication of such a statement,” attorney Joel Roper said.
While Ramoutar’s alleged user name on the social media site is slightly different from her real name, Roper noted that she was identified as the owner of the account.
He claimed that the statements were direct personal attacks on Griffith, designed to tarnish his reputation.
“In so doing, you have subjected the COP to ridicule, hatred, and contempt in the wider national community and have lowered him in the estimation of his colleagues, professional associates, and the public,” Roper said.
Roper suggested that Griffith, who is known to frequently respond to negative comments on social media, was willing to settle the issue before it reaches court if they were willing to issue retractions, apologies and give undertakings to not repeat the defamatory comments.
“This would allow both parties to save time, money, and reputation which may be hampered by litigation,” he said.
The duo was given 14 days in which to respond to the lawsuit threat and indicate if they are willing to settle.
Guardian Media understands that Griffith had not received any responses up to late yesterday.