Dr. Brown drops writ but files a new one

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Premier Ewart Brown has dropped a legal action against the Island’s media - but launched another one against The Royal Gazette, its sister paper and an Opposition-supporting Internet blogger.

The first writ for libel and slander was issued last month against all three of the Island’s newspapers and two broadcasting companies over revelations from a leaked Police file on the Bermuda Housing Corporation scandal.

But this week a notice of discontinuance was sent to lawyers for this newspaper and the Mid-Ocean News, which are both owned by Bermuda Press Holdings Ltd.

  • <B>Premier Ewart Brown

    Premier Ewart Brown


Premier Ewart Brown has dropped a legal action against the Island’s media - but launched another one against The Royal Gazette, its sister paper and an Opposition-supporting Internet blogger.

The first writ for libel and slander was issued last month against all three of the Island’s newspapers and two broadcasting companies over revelations from a leaked Police file on the Bermuda Housing Corporation scandal.

But this week a notice of discontinuance was sent to lawyers for this newspaper and the Mid-Ocean News, which are both owned by Bermuda Press Holdings Ltd.

The Supreme Court notice, dated last Friday, says that Dr. Brown “wholly discontinues” the action. Former Health Minister Nelson Bascome is suing the same media organisations - Bermuda Press Holdings, the Bermuda Broadcasting Company, DeFontes Broadcasting Company and the Bermuda Sun - over the same revelations, though no papers have yet been served on The Royal Gazette.

The Premier issued another writ last Friday against Bermuda Press Holdings, The Royal Gazette>and its editor Bill Zuill, Mid-Ocean editor Tim Hodgson and Christian Dunleavy, a United Bermuda Party member who runs the politics.bm website.

The nature of the latest complaint is not known as no papers have been served. The Premier’s press secretary Glenn Jones said last night he had no comment on why the first matter was dropped or what the new writ was about.

Mr. Bascome, who appeared in court last month charged with corruption in a position of public office, refused to comment yesterday on whether he planned to pursue his action. “You’ll have to talk to my lawyer,” he said. It was not possible to contact his attorney, Victoria Pearman.

The Mid-Ocean News first ran a story from the leaked Police dossier at the beginning of June and ZBM television news broadcast extracts on May 23.

The Mid-Ocean story claimed the document revealed that Dr. Brown, Mr. Bascome and other former Ministers were investigated by fraud squad officers looking into allegations of corruption at BHC.

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