Popcaan sues Jamaican government for defamation over drug possession claims

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Popcaan sues Jamaican government for defamation over drug possession claims

Popcaan’s legal team made good on the promise to sue the Jamaican government after its Police force, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), said that the dancehall deejay was arrested for cocaine possession in Barbados years ago.

Popcaan has been receiving a warm time from British authorities over alleged directives by the JCF to flag the St. Thomas native when he travels to the UK. According to Popcaan, he was stopped by immigration authorities for the second time this year.

In a video shared on Tuesday, Popcaan called on the country’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness to intervene and assist him in what he says is the government putting a red flag on his name.

On Friday, Popcaan’s lawyer, Bert Samuels, filed the defamation suit in which Popcaan is claiming general damages, damages for defamation, interest, legal costs, and any further relief from the court.

The lawsuit against the Government is in relation to the recent arising statements by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which made alleged false remarks about Popcaan having a drug conviction which his attorney says is untrue.

The lawsuit names the Attorney General as the defendant. The GOJ has not reacted to the lawsuit being filed as yet. Samuels had warned that if an apology and retraction was not issued to the deejay, he would file a lawsuit.

In the meantime, his lawyer confirmed that Popcaan was charged for possession of marijuana in 2009 in Barbados, specifically smoking a spliff and that the offense had been expunged from his criminal records in Barbados.

However, in relation to the claim that he was charged and convicted for cocaine possession, the artist, in his pleadings, says he has never been arrested in Barbados or any other place for possession of a controlled substance.

The document also said the marijuana conviction was wholly expunged in Barbados on April 21, 2016.

The lawsuit added that the artist’s rights in relation to Section 17 of the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act of Barbados was violated.

The act states that once his record is expunged, for all purposes in law, he is deemed to be a person who has never been charged with, prosecuted for, convicted of or sentenced.

Further, the government violated Section 22 of that Act which makes it an offense, punishable by imprisonment, to disclose the expungement.

Popcaan’s lawsuit said the JCF acted maliciously and failed to carry out any or any due diligence to investigate the claims it made against the deejay and that the words used by the JCF “meant or were understood to mean and conveyed to the public and ordinary, intelligent and unbiased persons with the ordinary person’s general knowledge and experience of worldly affairs that he was allegedly involved in criminal activity.”

Popcaan added that the statements added together caused his reputation to suffer harm, loss, and death and that the statements were calculated to portray him as a threat to public safety.

To support his claims that the JCF acted maliciously, the artist says that the JCF deliberately posted the press release as a way to justify his detention by British authorities.