Dayton’s Cross to bear

People’s National Party (PNP) activist Karen Cross is mounting a stout defence in the defamation suit filed against her by the party’s General Secretary Dr Dayton Campbell.

Cross’s defence also includes signed statements, witnessed by justices of the peace, from three women making allegations of sexual misconduct against Campbell.

Last month, the PNP general secretary filed a defamation suit against Cross after she posted damaging allegations against him on social media in March.

Campbell revealed that he had filed the suit in the Supreme Court on March 29 after the police issued a statement that they had concluded their probe into the allegations and had found no evidence to substantiate them.

“After extensive investigations into the claims that were made by Karen Cross via social media against Dr Campbell, the police have found no basis to the allegations that were made. Although a formal statement was given by Ms Cross, she provided no evidence to substantiate the claims that she made nor was she able to provide any person interested in making a complaint against Dr Campbell,” the police said.

“Neither Ms Cross nor anyone else provided anything that could establish the allegations as credible. As such, the investigation into this matter has come to a natural end. However, if Ms Cross or any other person wishes to provide credible information about this matter at a later date, we are willing to reopen our investigations,” the police added.

Immediately after the allegations were published, Campbell’s lawyers wrote to Cross demanding that she retract them and apologise.

“Our client denies all the allegations set out in the said letter and in particular any allegation that he has committed any criminal offence or is involved in any unethical or immoral conduct,” a letter from the law firm Henlin Gibson Henlin had said.

But in the defence filed in the Supreme Court on May 13, Cross said while she did cause a letter with the allegations to be sent to executive members of the PNP, “it is strenuously denied that the imputations contained in the said letter were defamatory as they were true or not materially different from the truth and/or consisted of fair comment”.

Cross pointed to the statements attached to her court filing as the basis for her claims.

She said that the letter with the allegations against Campbell was sent to approximately 70 members of the executive of the PNP and was not “actuated by malice or ill-intent”.

According to Cross, in the court document seen by the Jamaica Observer, her intention was to have Campbell held accountable for his actions and not to “frivolously damage his reputation”.

The matter is now set for case management before a trial date will be set.

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