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DPP to look into Thomas’ radio comment

DPP to look into Thomas’ radio comment


The Commissioner of Police Keith Miller has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions seeking advice in relation to comments made by talk show host Matthew Thomas, on the ‘Stay Awake’ radio programme on NICE Radio last Monday evening, November 14.{{more}}

At the time, Thomas was commenting about the fact that Douglas De Freitas, owner of NICE Radio has been ordered to pay $250,000 in costs and damages, as a result of a defamation law suit brought against him.

Thomas, a pharmacist by profession, said a Guerilla War would begin should Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves receive any money from the Court from De Freitas or anyone else.

“Well Ralph, before I leave here tonight you can send them to arrest me and take me round Prison, but let me tell you this: any day you get a cent from Dougie, or anybody on your behalf from the Court, a Guerilla War would be started in this country. You charge me tonight; have me arrested for exciting the public. You put me in jail, I will lead the Guerilla War from jail; you assassinate me, the seed would have already been sown. Take warning,” Thomas said during the programme.

He said that he was “using the forum to send a message to Ralph Gonsalves.”

“In fact I told my wife this, I told her make up your mind that Matthew Thomas would be imprisoned or assassinated,” he said.

“You know it comes a time when we have to do things whether you willing or not, I might be Jonah, I have to go to Nineveh.

“If Ralph Gonsalves go through with his plans to suppress freedom of speech in this country and our right to go about our ways as normal people and believe he can have this nation depressed. You listen Dougie on his radio programme, he is not the same spirited person you are hearing. Ralph is using the State resources to cripple him,” Thomas continued.

Junior Bacchus, co-host of the Stay Awake programme said that Thomas’ “comments were to offset the things that are going on inside” and that the comment came from a passion for the Constitutional rights of citizens, particularly the freedom of expression.

Bacchus was responding when a panelist on a radio programme on Cross Country Radio on Saturday, November 19, commented that he thought Bacchus would have distanced himself from Thomas’ comments.

Bacchus said that he knew that Thomas was going to make those comments.

“There was a threat to NICE Radio and its future. There was a matter where Matthew was actually going to court on Wednesday on another matter of half a million dollars. Then there is a matter where I am going to court Monday (November 21) with another half a million dollar affair.

“You are going down and down where you are being attacked, dragged before the court for negligible issues,” Bacchus said.

He added that Thomas was simply “laying out his frustration” and that Thomas was not a violent person.

“Matthew has been closer to Ralph Gonsalves than anyone of us sitting around this table and Ralph has probably been closer to Matthew than many of the people in his Cabinet and his party and I don’t get between Ralph and Matthew,” Bacchus said.

He contended that there was no real threat by Thomas’ comment, saying that Guerilla warfare could not be undertaken by public knowledge and that by Thomas making his comment in public, meant that in effect it was not Guerilla warfare.

When contacted, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that Thomas was only looking for attention and that he was not “about to give him any attention by responding or making a comment.”

“I have not even directed my mind as to if there is any issue involving any breach of the law,” Gonsalves said, adding that it was a matter for the law enforcement authorities.

“I am not going to do anything about it…as my profession doesn’t equip me with the skills to provide the requisite advice to Matthew Thomas which is probably needed,” Dr. Gonsalves explained.

Meanwhile, Thomas declined comment when contacted by SEARCHLIGHT.