Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is suing a former national cricketer for allegedly making a defamatory comment on social media regarding his son's brief stint on the T&T Senior Men's National Football Team.
In a defamation lawsuit, filed in May, Griffith's lawyers are alleging that Deonarine Deyal, who serves as a selector for the T&T Cricket Board's Under-19 team, made the defamatory comment in January while commenting on an online article that mentioned the selection of Griffith's son Gary Griffith III by former national team coach Terry Fenwick.
Although Deyal's alleged comments were included in the court filings obtained by Guardian Media Sports, they cannot be repeated to prevent further defamation.
"By so doing the Defendant intentionally or recklessly brought the Claimant's good name and performance of the functions of his office as Commissioner of Police in odium, public scandal and disrepute," Griffith's lawyers said in his statement of the case.
They claimed that the post lowered Griffith in the estimation of ordinary, reasonable readers nationally and internationally.
"The Claimant will maintain at trial that no, or insufficient attempts were made by the Defendant to verify the accuracy of the damaging statements contained in the publications," they said.
Through the lawsuit, Griffith is seeking an injunction barring Deyal from repeating the comments and financial compensation.
Griffith is being represented by Larry Lalla, Vashisht Seepersad and Taruna Mangroo.
The case is yet to be assigned to a High Court Judge, who will set a date for a first hearing.
On June 16, Griffith took to his official Facebook account to criticise journalist Lasana Liburd of Wired 868, who wrote the article Deyal commented on and several others on the national team including one over a reported disagreement between Griffith's son, who did not get any game time, and a member of Fenwick's coaching staff.
The articles came as Fenwick was replaced by Club Sando FC head coach Angus Eve following the team's underwhelming performance in the recent 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Eve, who started his coaching career as Fenwick's assistant at Pro-League outfit San Juan Jabloteh over 15 years ago, led the team to a 6-1 victory against Montserrat in the first round qualifier for the 2020 Concacaf Gold Cup, last Friday.
The team will secure a place in the competition, which takes place in the United States between July 10 and August 1, if it gets past French Guiana in a second-round match at 4.30 pm on Tuesday.