This is America, the law works – Kevin Taylor reminds Agyapong who lost defamation suit

US-based Ghanaian journalist Kevin Taylor has indicated the readiness of his lawyers and himself to meet the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong in court if the lawmaker decides to appeal his $9.5 million defamation suit dismissal.

Kevin Taylor and Kennedy Agyapong

Reacting to the ruling of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Taylor reminded the MP that in America, "the law works, irrespective of who is in front of it".

According to him, although he and his legal team have confidence in the solidity of their defence and the US judicial system, the decision to take the matter to a higher court remains the prerogative of Agyapong.

"So, Kennedy Agyapong still has the opportunity if he thinks that all that the judge said, some things were not right or he thinks that the facts that the judge put there do not really make sense to him, he can file an appeal.

"Myself and my lawyers, we are on standby to hear from Kennedy and his team. This is America and you have to understand that the law works, irrespective of who is in front of it. So, respect to the law, respect to the judge, respect to the judicial system, so we wait.

"But as we speak now, the case between Kennedy Agyapong, myself and Loud Silence Media has been dismissed and we wait for Kennedy to take the next action," Kevin Taylor said on Friday, March 25.

Agyapong had sued Taylor for defamation and demanded $9.5 million in compensation as well as a restraining order against the journalist to bar him and his organization, Loud Silence Media, from further referring to him as "murderer, drug dealer, drug addict, thief, and green card fraudster".

The lawmaker’s lawyers had claimed that Taylor had published "false and defamatory statements in a series of videos and an email correspondence published by Defendants (Kevin Taylor and Loud Silence Media) via Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms about Plaintiff."

But Judge Liam O’Grady who heard the case at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, held the view that Agyapong had no compelling basis to support his defamation claim.

The court added that the statements that the plaintiff complained about as having lowered his image in the estimation of right-thinking members of society were made in the public interest.

"It is undisputed that Agyapong is a public figure and Taylor’s statements were made regarding matters of public concern. The Amended Complaint does not plead any factual material that demonstrates Taylor’s disputed statements were published with actual malice", the ruling said.

"Therefore, Agyapong has not adequately plead an actionable claim. Further, the Amended Complaint does not plausibly state a claim under the Virginia Computer Crimes Act. For these reasons, the Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint (Dkt. 13) is GRANTED and the above captioned civil action is DISMISSED. The Plaintiff has 60 days to file a Second Amended Complaint if that filing would meet the requirements discussed in this Order," the court ruled.

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