Activist Luzette King on Thursday said she will not apologise “for something I said”, which Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves claims is defamatory of him.
“I didn’t want to give this much notice, but since the other radio stations are giving it: yes, I was served with a letter of intent giving me seven days to apologise for something I said,” King said on NICE Radio on Thursday, the station on which she is said to have made the initial comment.
In a Feb. 1 letter, lawyers for Gonsalves wrote to King saying that on Jan. 21, she made on NICE Radio defamatory statement that meant and were understood to mean that Gonsalves intends to commit several criminal offences, “including conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, murder and the common law offence of misbehaviour in public office.”
The lawyers said that King’s alleged statements “constitute a grave and malicious slander upon the character and reputation of our client, and, our client demands (a) a full and unequivocal withdrawal and apology of the slander to be published in one issue of each of the local weekly newspapers, the text of such apology must be in a form which has approved by us; (b) an undertaking not to utter or publish any or any similar defamatory statement against our client and (c) compensation in an amount to be agree.”
The lawyers said that Gonsalves was expecting a response from King within seven days, failing which they would issue a claim form in the High Court compelling her “to justify your deliberate, slanderous and malicious attack on our client”.
But King, in her call to the main opposition New Democratic Party’s daily radio programme on NICE radio, said on Thursday that she has been “very careful about what I say on NICE Radio.
“Whenever I said anything, I make sure I know of what I speak and I try not to be reckless about it. So, in that vein, I will not be apologising,” King said.
“Mr. Ralph Gonsalves seems to have a way of putting everything out in the public, but I will be fighting it in the public as well, and I am looking forward to the summons to go to court. I will not be apologising! Not!” she said.
King said that she understands that Managing Director of NICE Radio, Douglas Defreitas, also received a letter from Gonsalves’ lawyers.
“But, if it means not being on the radio, I will be off it. I will not be apologising,” said King, who hosts a Saturday morning programme on NICE Radio.
“I am seeking legal advice anyway as to the way forward when I do get further notice. But, ‘til then, no, no, no, because I know what I saw, I know what I heard and I am aware of the protocol of government or administrative procedures. I know them inside out,” she said.
Go so. That is a piece of good old-fashioned advice I learned as a child in North Leeward. Let him go so! He sees himself as the most in all things even down to being the most maligned, misrepresented and lawsuit-ready leader in the Western Hemisphere. Maybe that’s how it gets when you get to a point where you are able to undermine the people’s confidence even in the judiciary and when trickery and oneupmanship become most admired traits under your watch.
I understand that there is a breach of the criminal law called “making statements likely to cause public fear and alarm” — which threats of being tear gassed and shot certainly would — which carry more several penalties — namely possible jail time at Bellisle or Fort Charlotte — than a civil law charge of defamation.
Could it be that a successful defamation conviction would be easier to prove, on the one hand, and bring monetary compensation that could shut down Nice Radio and Douglas DeFreitas once and for all, on the other, that lead the powers that be to choose this way of gaining satisfaction?
Which century are they living in, that one can’t criticize the Prime Minister without fear of being sued?
My friend, there is a distinction between Criticism and Defamation.
I believe, Gonsalves is the worse Prime Minister since the age of enlightenment-THAT’S CRITICISM
Defamation: Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person.
What Ms King did; THAT’S DEFAMATION 101.
Making a public apology is no easy task. Making a public apology to someone that just kicked your arse in a recent fight(election) is the definition of humiliation. Ms King individual and institutional reputation are at stake; to issue an apology to Gonsalves is tantamount to drinking poison and so this visceral reaction by Ms King is to be expected.
I believe Ms King has no legal ground to stand on and in the best interest of her bank account, its wise to issue an apology. I heard Ms King on the radio that day and immediately thought, how reckless her statements were. Now Ms King is claiming as a defense, she knows the Government protocol and Administrative procedures but that is not the issue.The issue is, do you have “unmistakable proof” that Gonsalves give that order to the police officers to use tear gas and to shoot the protesters. Anything less and your arse becomes an ATM.
LEARNING FROM YOUR OWN MISTAKES IS SMART;LEARNING FROM OTHERS MISTAKES IS WISE; LEARNING FROM EITHER IS DOWNRIGHT STUPID.
Is Dougie this stupid to keep having his station in legal jeopardy every Monday morning? Have Dougie not learned anything after begging and grovelling to pay Gonsalves? Is the NDP going to have to start another begging campaign to assist Ms King with her legal troubles? I just don’t understand this madness, of having to constantly be begging for money to hand over to Gonsalves just so…WTF.
Nothing wrong with this at all. Everyone has a right to defend themselves. Criticise if you wish, by all means but you are also responsible to tell the truth. Whatever you say should be able to be proven. If you cannot prove something, what gives you the right to say it? If you don’t want to be sued, then watch what you say
Also, why is it that if a person feels that he was defamed, why should he/she just lie down and take it?
What? Only the person talking has rights?
correction – Criticise
Ralph Gonsalves is the first leader I have ever heard of the sues his own people. I guess this is “Labour Love”. Mrs King has no chance, no matter what the evidence. Most of the time a leader will oppose such comments by a demonstration of a strength of character rather than using the power of their office. But in this case the leader has no strength of character. He is a very insecure and weak man who cannot lead the country so he is destroying it for his own benefit. He is destroying the country by making it appear prosperous by excessive borrowing. WAIT UNTIL WE HAVE TO PAY ALL THIS DEBT BACK TO OUR CREDITORS! Back to the article: Obviously the police did intend to use teargas, otherwise they would not have appeared with teargas cannons and canisters of teargas.
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