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 Radio station asks PM not to execute defamation judgments

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | 8:59 AM    

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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (CMC) – The owner of the radio station that paid Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves EC$206,000 for defamation has asked him not pursue other defamation cases against the station.

Douglas De Freitas, manager of Nice Radio, said he was moved by the Holy Spirit to write to Gonsalves, his cousin.

He made the announcement Wednesday evening after 12 hours of programming thanking God that the station had avoided going into receivership. 

He said he called Gonsalves on Wednesday to inform him about the letter.

“We had some pleasant talk, but we had some disagreeing talk. … So he said he was not going to say anything about how I write him. And I said, ‘No, you don't have to; because, in the spirit’s prompting, I have to declare it, I have to move it into the atmosphere and this situation that exists,’” De Freitas said.

“There are little things we disagree on, big things we disagree on,” adding that the Prime Minister said he was looking forward to receiving the letter.

“So, that’s where I am. Just exactly what the Spirit tells me to do. Whatever happens after that is God’s will and I want you people who journey with Nice Radio and the family of Nice Radio and the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to pray and to continue to pay earnestly and sincerely that somehow God’s way will be the only way,” De Freitas told listeners.

He also called on listeners to the station to pray “That God will change the hearts of each of us in a way that will bring some healing in the land.”

De Freitas, who like Gonsalves, is a Catholic, said he belongs to a church that preaches social justice.

“And in that doctrine of the church it is necessary that we speak to the things that are wrong, without fear or favour. And in speaking, those words shouldn’t be meant to defame anyone. We suffer the consequences when those things happen. Because, on the other side, it is how the other side accepts what is necessary or an apology,” he said.

On Monday Gonsalves said he instructed his lawyer to pursue two other judgments against the station that are ready for execution.

He made the announcement on the same day that the station paid him EC$206,000 for defamation, in a case dating back almost 10 years.

The money was raised through donations from listeners to the station, under the Save Nice Radio Appeal.

The judgment came out of statements made about the financing of a trip to Rome by Gonsalves and some members of his family.

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