The money represented the partial payment from a lawsuit for slander which Elias won against soca artiste, Iwer George, owner of the radio station 99.1 and talk show host Barrington “Skippy” Thomas.
The lawsuit arose out of statements made by Thomas on the radio station in the lead-up to the general elections in 2010. Elias said he received the money, which was only Iwer George’s part of the judgement, about six weeks ago but had been taking time to select the groups which would receive donations. He said the groups all got about the same amount with some getting as much as $80,000. However, he said he is still owed about $71,000 from Thomas.
Elias said Thomas will appear in court on December 8 to have his assets assessed, a determination made about his capacity to pay and a schedule for payment set out.
Elias said that money will also be donated to charity.
His daughter, Charlotte, said the company had a motto, “Do Right and Prosper” and it was guided by this in its growth and development and in the selection of the groups to receive the donations.
Elias said the organisations chosen were doing “extremely vital” work in Trinidad and Tobago.
The contractor said that after the lawsuit was filed Thomas stopped working for 99.1 and moved to 102FM where, he claimed, Thomas repeated the slander in the approach to the 2015 general election “and multiplied it tenfold.” Elias said he has also sued 102FM.
“If you multiply a slander tenfold, well, its possible that the NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) community will be enjoying a rather large pay day in the not too distant future,” Elias said.
He claims that in the lead-up to the Local Government election, there was an “unbelievable slander” against him by Opposition MP Dr Roodial Moonilal while speaking on a platform.
This alleged slander, he said, was repeated “verbatim” by the Sunday Express. He said he intends to sue Moonilal and the newspaper as well as Synergy TV and Jaagriti Radio which, he said, also carried the broadcast live.
Cheques were distributed to the Family Planning Association; Mamatoto Birthing Centre; Vitas House Hospice; the Social Outreach Committee of the All Saints Anglican Church; Women in Action for the Needy and Destitute (WAND); Servol; the Lady Hochoy Home, South; the Environmental Research Institute in Charlotteville; the Wildlife Orphanage and Rehabilitation Centre; birdsong Academy and the Anglican Church for the restoration of Hayes Court, one of the Magnificent Seven buildings around the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Awards were also presented to Dr James Armstrong of the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry; the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute and the Movement Mechanics Athletic Club.