ANTIGUA – Prime Minister says he will not be intimidated by threat of lawsuit

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Thursday refused to apologise for a statement that has prompted the threat of a lawsuit from opposition Parliamentarian Wilmoth Daniel.

The opposition Member of Parliament, has threatened to sue the Prime Minister for allegations reportedly made against him.

According to Daniel’s Attorney, Charlesworth Tabor, the Prime Minister made some “very outrageous” allegations in Parliament.

Tabor,  said he has sent a letter to Browne on behalf of Daniel, “requesting an apology and the prime minister has 14 days in which to apologise.”

In the letter dated January 10, Tabor said if the the Prime Minister did not apologise within the time stipulated, “he would be sued for defamation.”

“He (the Prime Minister) said that Mr. Daniel burned down a number of buildings for insurance money. I guess the prime minister felt that because he was in Parliament he can say anything and get away with it, because there is what is considered to be parliamentary immunity,” Tabor said.

The attorney specified that the comments were made during a crosstalk in the Parliament Building after the Speaker of the House suspended the sitting due to a disruption in electricity.

However, in response the Prime Minister said – “I make no apologies about the statement that was made within the Parliamentary chambers and if it is that the individual is trying to intimidate me – that will not work.”

“I made a subsequent statement  – this person is a candidate with the UPP, who has been involved in three fires, not one. I find it extremely laughable that without calling the person’s name that Wilmoth Daniel would assume that I was speaking about him. Now if it is that he is guilty and if the cap fits him, I say to him, I make no apologies for my articulations. However I apologise to the entire nation on his behalf, if indeed he is guilty,” the Prime Minister said.

However, according to Daniel’s attorney, the allegations reportedly made the Prime Minister were not under the protection of parliamentary immunity, since the Speaker had already suspended the session.



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