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Leave granted to AG to file an Affidavit in Answer in the Sleepin Hotel lawsuit

In the matter of Bacchus v Guyana National Newspapers Limited and the Editor of the Chronicle Newspaper, which came up for hearing on Friday the 25th August, 2017, an application for an injunction restraining the Defendants by themselves, their servants and/or agents and each and everyone of them from publishing any statement whatsoever of and concerning the Claimant, which suggests or tend to suggests or convey the impression that the Claimant and his business, Sleepin International Hotel and Casino Inc. are engaged in, connected to, associated with and funded by criminal conduct and from criminal proceeds derived from illicit or criminal activities was heard before the Honourable Mr. Justice Sandil Kissoon.

Following an application by Counsel holding for the Attorney-General, leave was granted to the Attorney-General to file an Affidavit in Answer, on or before the 11th day of September, 2017.

Thereafter, leave was granted to the Applicant to file an Affidavit in Reply (if necessary) on or before the 18th day of September, 2017. The matter has been adjourned to the 20th day of September, 2017 at 9 am for arguments on the granting of the said injunction.

The Guyana Chronicle in several articles alleging that Mr. Bacchus and his associates were under investigation by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for Money Laundering. The article further alleged that Mr. Bacchus’ business operations and his associates are connected to and funded by proceeds from money laundering, drug smuggling and other criminal activities.

However, in a public statement, Mr. Bacchus explained that he is not aware of any ongoing investigation nor was he ever contacted by the agency. “I read with absolute shock the blazing and bold headlines in the Guyana Chronicle, Tuesday 15th, August 2017, “Tracking the Money… Sleepin boss, associates snared in money laundering probe… SOCU tells Gaming Authority investigation on since 2016;” Any person with any modicum of common sense would quickly realise that there was a special effort and a deliberate intent to sensationalise that story in the Chronicle, having regard to the size of the headlines, the photographs and the bold pull-quote on the front page. I am absolutely bewildered by all of this,” Mr. Bacchus said.

Similar application for injunctions filed by Pasha Global and Yokohama Trading Guyana Inc. against the Guyana National Newspapers Limited and the Editor of the Chronicle Newspaper are fixed to heard before the Hon. Mr. Justice Sandil Kissoon on the 29th and 30th August, 2017 respectively.

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