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Lo­cal jour­nal­ist Lasana Liburd was al­leged­ly at­tacked and wound­ed by a man he knew while cov­er­ing the Sec­ondary School Foot­ball League’s In­ter­col com­pe­ti­tion at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in Cou­va yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia Lim­it­ed some­time af­ter the in­ci­dent, Liburd re­called be­ing pushed from be­hind while seat­ed in the press area of the sta­di­um by some­one he even­tu­al­ly recog­nised as the sub­ject of a li­bel law­suit filed by him­self against the in­di­vid­ual in March 2017.

“I was at the In­ter­col Girls fi­nal watch­ing the game. Some­body pushed me from the back, be­cause the seats are el­e­vat­ed he was above me.

“When I turned around even­tu­al­ly, he just start­ed swing­ing. He had a weapon that he was slash­ing with and he slashed me (I have two cuts) on my chin,” Liburd said.

“A lot of peo­ple were near­by but I am not sure who saw or didn’t see. I be­lieve though that some peo­ple who were in the same row that he was in got in­volved and he walked out through the back.”

Liburd said he had no pre­vi­ous phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tions with the in­di­vid­ual but not­ed that they had been in­volved in ver­bal ex­changes via so­cial me­dia.

“The on­ly mat­ter is that in the course of my du­ties as a re­porter I had writ­ten on a TTFA mat­ter be­fore when he was work­ing as the press of­fi­cer for the Beach Soc­cer team and had men­tioned his own be­hav­iour at a tour in To­ba­go. That was the last I re­al­ly wrote. Af­ter that he made a whole bunch of wild state­ments on Face­book which I asked him to re­tract and he didn’t,” Liburd said.

Liburd ex­plained that yes­ter­day al­so co­in­cid­ed with the sec­ond oc­ca­sion in which his al­leged at­tack­er was served in the civ­il mat­ter.

He said he sought to re­port the in­ci­dent to the Cou­va Po­lice Sta­tion and was asked to ob­tain a med­ical re­port from the Cou­va Health Cen­tre.

When con­tact­ed for a com­ment on the mat­ter via tele­phone yes­ter­day, the al­leged per­pe­tra­tor, who is a school teacher by pro­fes­sion and free­lance sports jour­nal­ist, called the at­tack an act of self-de­fence.

He claimed that ear­li­er that day he had been served with a sum­mons at his place of work de­spite sev­er­al pre­vi­ous warn­ings to Liburd and his lawyers to re­frain from such.

He claimed he had gone to the match as a spec­ta­tor where he saw Liburd and at­tempt­ed to ver­bal­ly ad­dress his griev­ance with Liburd. He al­leged it was dur­ing this in­ci­dent that he had to act in self-de­fence.


SOURCE: T&T Guardian