March 25, 2022

US Court Dismisses Kennedy Agyapong’s Defamation Suit Against Kevin Taylor

The Alexandria Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has dismissed a defamation and computer Crime Act violation suit brought against US-based Ghanaian journalist, Kevin Taylor, and his Media Company, Loud Silence Media (LSM), by Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.

The lawmaker went to court alleging that the journalist had accused him of the murder of a Ghanaian MP, the murder of journalist Ahmed Suale, using a fake Green card to help immigrate Ghanaians to the US, trafficking illegal drugs, being a drug addict, and financial corruption.

The Assin Central MP noted to the court that Taylor repeatedly made and continues to make these statements knowingly and recklessly knowing these statements were false.

But the court, presided over by Liam O’ Grady, dismissing the case, stated that the amended complaint does not plead any factual material that demonstrates Taylor’s disputed statements were published with actual malice.

Concluding on Defamation and defamation per se allegations of the legislator, the court held that Agyapong has not sufficiently shown that the statements were made with actual malice, and therefore the claims for defamation and defamation per se cannot be brought against Taylor.

Touching violation of Virginia Computer Crime Act allegation against the LSM founder, the Judge said the Amended Complaint contains no pleadings that can be construed to show that Taylor communicated obscene language as defined by Virginia law.

“Agyapong has not adequately plead an actionable claim. Further, the Amended Complaint does not plausibly state a claim under Virginia Computer Crimes Act. For these reasons, the motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint (Dkt. 13) is granted and the above captioned civil action Dismissed”, the Judge noted and threw out the case.

Kennedy Agyapong was seeking $9.5 million damages award against the journalist as well as an injunction prohibiting Kevin Taylor and his organisation from posting on any media outlet any further defamatory remarks and an apology from the latter, CNR reports.

The suit was filed in November 2021.

Source: Fuseini

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