Haitian prime minister's claim of defamation rejected by American-based journalist

By Ian Tennant

A journalist based in the United States has rejected claims by Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe that he was defamed by the reporter for Haiti-Observateur, said Associated Press (AP) on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Lamothe and Florida-based businessman Patrice Baker filed a lawsuit at a Miami federal court on Monday, Sept. 10, alleging Haiti-Observateur and Leo Joseph defamed the two men in "outrageous, scandalous" articles, according to the Courthouse News Service.

Joseph stood by his reporting and added that Lamothe had not made himself available to answer questions. The Haiti-Observateur, based in Brooklyn, New York, is a weekly news publication with a circulation of roughly 75,000 in New York, Montreal, Florida and Haiti.

At issue is a series of stories in August and September that, according to the lawsuit, suggested Lamothe and Price benefited from the Haitian government's purchase of a Haitian telecommunications company, according to AP.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.