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Gonsalves offers ‘no comment’

Gonsalves offers ‘no comment’
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves while speaking on NBC Radio earlier this week

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is hoping that persons who are talking about the situation that allegedly involves deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Senator Ashelle Morgan and Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Karim Nelson, do not get sued.

“…Why do you take the allegations of one person as being the truth and people running with it and talking about it as if it is the unvarnished truth and the unvarnished facts? he questioned on NBC Radio on Tuesday, May 4.

The Prime Minister, who prefaced his comments by noting his intention not to comment on the matter said: “I hope for their sake they don’t run into problems with…the laws of defamation.”

On Tuesday April 13, 2021 Cornelius John, a businessman of Diamond was shot while at his home. He claims he was also threatened and beaten.

John is claiming that one of the persons involved in the incident is senator Morgan but said he does not know who shot him. It is alleged that the assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Karim Nelson is involved in the incident. He has since taken leave from his job to allow for an investigation.

Speaking on the  ‘Eyeing La Soufriere’ Morning Edition, the Prime Minister said persons have asked him about the incident but it is not something he is going to comment about “…simply because there is an investigation which is ongoing which the commissioner of police has stated publicly…”

Gonsalves, who holds ministerial responsibility for national security continued: “How does anyone expect the Prime Minister to make a public comment about allegations made my someone in relation to someone else which is the subject of a police investigation?

“I just want to ask that simple question….

“Why do people think that everything has to be hung out to dry in the public place when an investigation is going on?”

He also noted, “you know the important thing in this that I notice, the Office of the DPP and the Office of the Commissioner of Police, I am sure will work properly and independently in the highest traditions in this matter.”

The Prime Minister said he has spoken to Senator Morgan.

“When the incident occurred, you would expect that she would call and she would tell me,” Gonsalves said, while noting that what he read in the newspapers and heard persons talking about, “without going into any details from what I was told, people just keep their mouth shut a bit.

“Just keep yo mouth shut a bit and don’t believe and accept as fact some of the more outlandish things you have heard in relation to Senator Morgan.

“I just want to say this, you know, politics is a hell of a thing, partisan politics. Partisan politics  is a hell of a thing. If the shoe were on the other foot and it was an NDP woman, an NDP parliamentarian or high party member who had gotten involved in this, you know how the story was going to spin? ‘So what you expect, there are two women, you know in this country there is a lot of violence against women, and it is good thing to see that somebody is standing up to defend women’, but no, it becomes all kind of pejorative words to being used to describe somebody.

“Just wait, you notice how careful I am?”

“I am not pronouncing on something which is under investigation and I would be irresponsible to do so in a circumstance like this, but I must ask persons, just be calm and just be patient…”

He said there are a lot of important matters being dealt within the country, and pointed to COVID-19, the volcanic eruption and the looming hurricane season, “and how to pay the bills.”

On Thursday, Gonsalves again spoke about the incident, this time asking that journalists quote him correctly.

He said he had been misquoted by a news outlet in relation to his comments on the Morgan and Nelson issue and that persons must listen to him carefully and not truncate what he says.

“All people have to do is to listen what I say and write it out as I speak it.”

Gonsalves said he has seen an amendment made to try to correct something he said but even the punctuation for the amendment is problematic.

“There are some people who don’t listen words properly, or the words as you speak them, and they chop them up and put them in different quotations so they are taken completely out of context and therefore it turns out time to time to be the opposite of what you are saying,” Gonsalves complained.

 

[[UPDATED on Saturday, May 8 at 10:02 pm as follows:

(1) The day on which Prime Minister Gonsalves spoke about the matter was Tuesday, May 4

(2) This section of the story was corrected to accurately quote what Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said:  “I just want to say this, you know, politics is a hell of a thing, partisan politics. Partisan politics  is a hell of a thing. If the shoe were on the other foot and it was an NDP woman, an NDP parliamentarian or high party member who had gotten involved in this, you know how the story was going to spin? ‘So what you expect, there are two women, you know in this country there is a lot of violence against women, and it is good thing to see that somebody is standing up to defend women’, but no, it becomes all kind of pejorative words to being used to describe somebody.” ]]

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