Wildman says media reporting at risk on CMU audit

Wildman says media reporting at risk on CMU audit

Monday, January 20, 2020

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ATTORNEY-AT-LAW Hugh Wildman says that his clients are not pleased with the information being carried by the media from the special audit report on recent activities at Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).

He said they are concerned about the report being published prior to its tabling, and the fact that they have not seen a copy of the report or the claims being made against them.

Wildman also contended that eventually civil action could be taken against the media for carrying stories from the report which libel his clients.

“If you publish from that report you really [are] publishing at your own risk, because the reality is that a lot of that report, I gather, contains issues of opinion expressed by the auditor general,” Wildman told the Jamaica Observer.

“The parliamentarians can get away with it in Parliament, but only within the confines of Parliament. If they go outside the confines of Parliament and raise it, it can be a question of libel. The media has no special privileges where that is concerned,” he added.

“All I am saying is that anybody who is going to publish the information really publishes at their own risk. I don't get an opportunity to brief them as yet, but I know both of them are not pleased,” he said.

Wildman was referring to the fact that the media has continued to publish sections of the Auditor General's Special Audit Report on alleged acts of corruption at the CMU since 2016, although it has not yet been tabled in Parliament.

He represents both former Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid and president of the CMU Professor Fritz Pinnock, who have both been implicated and charged with corruption activities reported at the university.

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