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Today, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Ramon Cervantes Jr., the man who will contest Vega in Orange Walk North, were in court for day one of their trial before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Viewers may recall that the DPM is suing Cervantes for slander, for causing the broadcast of a tape recording of a suspect in the murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior, whose body was found buried on a farm off the Honey Camp Road. Both sides were flanked by their supporters and respective attorneys. The claimant seeks to prove that the allegations were baseless and sought to malign his reputation for political reasons. Cervantes’ defence is to deny that he caused the recording to be published. He denied that the words or meaning alleged were defamatory. Presenting the opening remarks was Vega’s attorney, Rodwell Williams, who told the court why the two defendants should be hit with fines of damages to be paid to Vega.

We say the two defendants because Vega is also suing Fiesta F.M radio station which is owned by Jaime and John Briceno. Vega claims that the station carried the broadcast of the telephone conversation which maliciously defamed him. Fiesta FM in defence of this claim for libel, denies that they carried the recording over the airwaves due to technical difficulties.


Following the opening statement, Gaspar Vega took to the witness stand where he detailed his case against the defendants. After that statement he was cross examined by Cervantes’ attorney Said Musa and Fiesta F.M’s attorney Eamon Courtenay.


Outside the courts chambers today, Attorney for Vega, Rodwell Williams spoke briefly on the case with the media.

 

Screen_Shot_2015-07-23_at_8.05.36_PMRODWELL WILLIAMS – Attorney for Gaspar Vega


“Very comfortable with the progress of the case so far but it is of course as you are aware on its way close to ending but we are quite comfortable and confident.”


Reporter


“What is the next step for you all in trying to establish Mr Gapi’s the injury to his character?”


RODWELL WILLIAMS – Attorney for Gaspar Vega


“His character has been injured and that is why we are here and to seek to vindicate damage to his reputation.”

As for Vega, he was greeted by his supporters as he walked towards his vehicle. He also spoke briefly to the media but not on the case.


GASPAR VEGA – Suing for Libel


“They just came because they heard of the case, they just came to give some moral support.”


Reporter


“How does it make you feel that they came out here?”


GASPAR VEGA – Suing for Libel


“Very special and I always say that God is always with me and these people are all from Orange Walk North, I don’t know if they will be coming back but I certainly don’t intent to stop anyone from coming whoever wants to come they can come.”


Reporter


“Is this something that you needed?”


GASPAR VEGA – Suing for Libel


“I always need the moral support of my people.”


On the defendant’s side, both Cervantes and his attorney Said Musa declined comment. We’ll have the outcome of tomorrow’s trial hearing in our subsequent newscast.

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