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Thomas told to pay, apologize to PM

Thomas told to pay, apologize to PM


A seven-day deadline has been imposed on noted pharmacist Mathew Thomas to respond to a letter sent to him on behalf of Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

The letter dated January 31, 2007 and signed by G. Grahame Bollers of the law firm of Hughes and Cummings, was received by Thomas on February 2nd, and instructs Thomas to pay compensation in the sum of $200,000 to charities stipulated by the Prime Minister, and the sum of $15,000 to cover legal costs and expenses.{{more}}

This letter came as a result of Thomas’ statements on STAY AWAKE, a call-in radio program on NICE Radio aired on Monday January 29, 2007.

According to the letter, statements made by Thomas on the programme were meant and were understood to mean that their client, the Prime Minister, “intends and will resort to the grave criminal offence of murder or will conspire to or authorize the killing of one Junior Bacchus and further that he is involved in drug trafficking or drug related activities and has used the office of Prime Minister to further nefarious activities.”

The letter asserts that Thomas’ statements were defamatory, and constitute a grave and malicious slander upon the character and reputation of their client, and were understood to mean their client had committed several criminal offences including but not limited to (a) the common law offence of misbehaviour in public office, (b) drug trafficking, (c) assisting in the commission of a drug trafficking offence and (d) conspiracy to commit a drug trafficking offense.

Thomas was also instructed to issue an apology to be published in each of the local weekly papers, and promise not to utter or publish any or any similar statements against the Prime Minister.

According to the letter, if Thomas does not respond in the stipulated time, a Claim Form in the High Court compelling him to justify his “deliberate, slanderous and malicious attack” on the Prime Minister will be issued.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 one day before the deadline, Thomas said that he does not take the content of the letter seriously and does not intend to respond.

He said that he was happy to receive the letter because it heightens the issues that he spoke about on the radio program, and that the letter itself can be considered a “recipe for corruption”.

On the radio program, Thomas addressed the firing of Junior Bacchus from the East Caribbean group of Companies, and the release of convicted drug dealer Alex Lawrence.