Tesha Miller files lawsuit against TVJ
Tesha Miller, the man who has been under the police's radar for more than a decade for several crimes, including murder, is claiming that Television Jamaica (TVJ) has damaged his reputation.
Bert Samuels, Miller's attorney, said that his client has suffered reputational damage as a result of the way he was characterised in a newscast that was aired on March 19.
"To say a man is a gang leader in the absence of a conviction under the anti-gang law is to tarnish his reputation. He is presumed innocent under law. If you call a rapist a thief, he can sue you. Further, if you call him a gang leader, as a television station, while he is about to face a jury for trial, you are denying him a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal. Hence, he is entitled to constitutional damages," Samuels said.
Miller, according to the claim, is seeking damages, damages for slander, vindicatory damages, interests, cost and any such further relief as the court sees fit.
The documents, dated April 8, 2019, were filed in the civil division of the Supreme Court.
In the claim, Miller is listed as being a welder of a Spanish Town, St Catherine, address.
Requesting a retraction
Samuels also claims that an initial letter was sent to TVJ on March 22, 2019 requesting a retraction and apology for the reference that was made to Miller in the newscast.
Shena Stubbs-Gibson, Senior Legal Adviser for the RJRGLEANER Group, of which TVJ is a subsidiary, acknowledged receiving Mr Samuels' letter and said TVJ did respond to the letter.
"Further, we are prepared to put our evidence to a court of law and have same determine a) whether Mr Miller has a reputation that was capable of being, or indeed was injured, by the broadcast in question; and, b) if Mr Miller's reputation is otherwise good, whether our broadcast was indeed defamatory and cannot be defended. We have sent the claim to our external counsel for guidance."
Meanwhile, Miller is scheduled to stand trial in the Supreme Court for the 2008 murder of Jamaica Urban Transit Company chairman Douglas Chambers.
In addition, Miller was arrested by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) in the Corporate Area last October.
A man and woman, who were in his company, were also arrested.
Miller, who left Jamaica for the United States in 2013, was charged with illegal re-entry, having previously been deported, and for having an identification card in another person's name.
He was convicted of the offences and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. He was subsequently deported in March 2016.
He then fled to The Bahamas in June 2016, but was also held by authorities there for illegal entry and subsequently deported to Jamaica.