Marco Archer sues website for defamation

Marco Archer

Former Cayman Islands Finance Minister Marco Archer has won a temporary injunction against the publication of a website blog post that he alleged was defamatory, in a writ filed Monday with the Grand Court.

The article appeared on the Cayman Marl Road website last week. As of Wednesday, it had been taken down by order of the Grand Court.

Mr. Archer said the allegations of abuse of office made in the publication were “false and unfounded” and indicated that he would take legal action against the website.

On Wednesday, the first portion of that legal action proceeded in a closed-door hearing before Grand Court Judge Robin McMillan. Mr. Archer’s attorneys won a temporary injunction, requiring the post to be taken down. A further hearing was set for Sept. 20 when both parties involved in the dispute would be allowed to make representations to the court and a decision would be made as to whether the publication would be permanently removed.

Cayman Marl Road website owner Sandra Hill was not allowed to address the court during Wednesday’s ex parte hearing, but she made a statement about the matter on her website.

“CMR hereby issues Archer a public apology as it was never this publication’s intent to defame him in any way,” a part of the statement read. “We were simply attempting to highlight a story that presented numerous facts that made us concerned about how stamp duty abatement applications are handled …. “I am thankful for the judge’s feedback [Wednesday] morning. It was a very useful learning exercise.”

The writ filed Monday alleges that Mr. Archer was the victim of defamation in this instance. Aside from making a public statement on his Facebook page, the former minister has remained silent about the matter since the initial publication on Aug. 24.

Mr. Archer’s attorney Colm Flanagan declined to comment on whether his client intended to press forward with the defamation action.

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.

Donate