Three days before the General Election, Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Tobago East candidate Watson Duke has issued a pre-action protocol letter to a woman he claimed has defamed his character in a social media post.
However, the woman, through her attorney, has countered that the offending post made no reference to Duke.
The letter was allegedly geared at preventing the woman from speaking about an incident of inappropriate conduct in the workplace approximately three years ago.
The letter from Duke’s lawyer to the woman accused her of defamation in a Facebook post on July 29, 2020 and called for her to retract the statement, delete the post and issue a public apology.
However, in a response to the pre-action protocol letter, the woman’s attorney, Melanie Roberts-Radgman, acknowledged her client made the post but said she did not name anyone. Roberts-Radgman said her client would not accede to any of the requests made by Duke and his attorney, including retracting, deleting and apologising for the statements she made. She has also refused to pay the legal fees and her klawyers said she will take the relevant action when her client is ready.
Guardian Media understands that although the pre-action protocol letter was dated July 31, 2020, the woman only received it yesterday morning. She was also given a seven-day deadline to respond, which effectively expired yesterday. The letter also demanded that the woman pay Duke’s $2,000 legal fee.
The woman was also given a confidentiality notice noting the information contained in the letter was legally privileged and should not be disseminated, distributed or copied. However, a copy of the attorney’s letter for the victim was leaked on social media yesterday.
Efforts were made to contact Duke yesterday were unsuccessful as he did not answer his cellphone or return calls.
Duke is currently before the courts accused of rape and the matter is pending.