Former Commissioner of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Gary Griffith, has been ordered to pay expenses incurred by the Express after his defamation lawsuit against the company was last month dismissed.

The claim is about $600,000 Trinidad dollars and Griffith is required to pay costs on this amount.

The written judgment was released Wednesday, following an oral ruling last month.

In the judgment, Justice Jacqueline Wilson dismissed Griffith’s lawsuit against journalist Denyse Renne, who wrote two articles back in October 2020 over the granting of firearm user’s licences when he was police commissioner.

Griffith had also named Express journalist Rickie Ramdass, who wrote one follow-up article, and the Express Newspapers as defendants.

Griffith claimed the articles brought his good name and his function as CoP into public scandal and disrepute.

The investigative articles had stated that Griffith issued licences to applicants against whom criminal charges were pending; that he granted licences to businessmen whose spouses had made reports of domestic abuse; and had expedited the grant of licences to donors of the I Support Our Service Fund, an initiative launched by the claimant and his wife.

Justice Wilson however found that the articles were the product of responsible journalism and ruled that both journalists—Renne and Ramdass—took reasonable steps to verify information.

The judge also noted that questions were posed to Griffith and the responses were published in full, and this made for an appropriate balance between freedom of the press, freedom of expression and public interest and, as a result, was responsible and fair and qualified under Reynolds Privilege.