Phillips Defiant Amidst Threat of Lawsuit from Holness


Campaign Director for the People’s National Party, PNP Dr. Peter Phillips, is defiant this afternoon in the face of threats of a multi-million dollar lawsuit from Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

Lawyers for the Opposition Leader this morning wrote to Dr. Phillips threatening to sue him if he fails to apologize and pay damages for statements he made in relation to the source of funding for Mr. Holness’s house in Beverly Hills, St. Andrew.

Andrew Holness has instructed his lawyers to sue Dr. Phillips for damaging comments made unless the Finance Minister apologizes.

Phillips spoke to media personnel this afternoon shortly after he addressed the launch of the PNP’s campaign manifesto at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

The Finance Minister declined to comment on Mr. Holness’s statement yesterday setting out his source of funding which Dr. Phillips had questioned.

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The Finance Minister and PNP Campaign Director also declined to comment when asked whether the PNP will now take part in the election debate seeing that the Opposition Leader has answered his questions.

This morning Nationwide News disclosed that Mr. Holness’s attorney, George Soutar, had written Dr. Phillips.

Soutar told Dr. Phillips that on February 12 this year he caused statements to be published in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper in relation to Holness’ house.

The attorney told the Finance Minister that the statements have defamed Mr. Holness.

Soutar indicated to the Finance Minister that statements he made concerning the acquisition of the land and the building of the house, should be retracted.

Holness is also demanding that the Finance Minister agree to pay over money to a charity chosen by the Opposition Leader.

Mr. Holness’ attorney says the payment to the charity will be treated as compensation for damaging comments made by Dr. Phillips.

Dr. Phillips has been advised by Holness’ attorney that he will face a lawsuit if the apology is not published prominently by Friday.

Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.