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I am not afraid of your letter – ‘Patel’ Matthews

I am not afraid of your  letter – ‘Patel’ Matthews

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Member of Parliament for North Leeward, Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews says he and his legal team will make a statement in the coming days in response to a letter from lawyers representing the Unity Labour Party (ULP) candidate in that constituency, Carlos James.

“We are looking at the letter and we will{{more}} make a statement on it,” Matthews told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday by telephone.

However, at a New Democratic Party (NDP) rally in Campden Park on Saturday, September 12, Matthews said he was not afraid of James and his team of lawyers.

“It doesn’t matter what they do. They could write letter. They could send threats. I am giving them a message tonight, regardless of what they do, that the people of North Leeward, when election come, they will elect yours truly, Roland Patel Matthews, as a member of parliament.

“Me na fraid ah soul. Richard Williams, me na fraid yo letter either. Carlos James, yo not living in North Leeward. I just want them to know that up front,” Matthews said at the rally.

The letter, from Richard Williams of the law firm Williams and Williams, dated September 9, 2015, demands an apology from Matthews for various comments he made about James during a NDP campaign event at Redemption Sharpes on September 5.

According to the letter from Williams, Matthews’ words meant and were understood to mean that their client is “a violent criminal who is in the habit of beating people. That he was convicted and fined for five charges in the Magistrate Court. That is he unfit to represent the people of North Leeward. That he has committed various offences contrary to the provisions of the Criminal Code and the Representation of the Peoples Act which are punishable by terms of imprisonment.”

The lawyer said Matthews’ actions were “deliberate and malicious” and caused James to be ridiculed on the airwaves and on social media.

The letter also states that what further compounds and exaggerates the “malice” on Matthews’ part, is his “deliberate refusal” to disclose that that James was 18 years old at the time of the incident.

The lawyers say that James was only fined “the paltry sum of $100.00 for a single charge of indecent language to which he plead guilty.”

Williams said at the time of the incident, James was speaking out in defence of another who was being unfairly treated.

He also said that five years after the fine was issued, James’ conviction was spent, pursuant to the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act No 15 of 2009, S 4(1), which means that James is to be “treated as not having been charged, committed or sentenced for the said offence.”

“These words which you uttered, constitute a grave and malicious slander upon the character and reputation of our client, and, our client demands (a) a full and unequivocal withdrawal and apology of the slander to be published in one issue of each of the local weekly newspapers, the text of such apology must be in a form which has been approved by us; (b) an undertaking not to publish any or any similar defamatory statement against our client and (c) compensation in an amount to be agreed to be paid to a charitable organization of his choice,” the letter said.(KW)

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