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‘Dougie’ slapped with 10 more charges

‘Dougie’ slapped with 10 more charges

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Proprietor of Nice Radio (96.7 FM) Douglas ‘Dougie’ DeFreitas has been slapped with 10 additional charges in relation to statements he made on his radio station the day after the December 9, 2015 general elections.

DeFreitas told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that he has been asked to appear in court on Monday, August 29 to answer 10 more charges relating to statements he allegedly made on December 10. He said he is not fazed by the latest charges, as he knows that things like this are being done to silence him.

Two months ago, the New Democratic Party (NDP) supporter and activist was charged “that at Dorsetshire Hill in St Vincent and the Grenadines and within the First Magisterial District, he did publish a false statement which was likely to cause fear or alarm or to disturb the public peace”.{{more}}

The latest summons served on DeFreitas came exactly eight months after his December statements and according to him, the charges make no sense, as nothing happened the day after the general elections; other persons exercised their democratic right to protest.

In June, DeFreitas was charged that at Dorsetshire Hill in St Vincent and the Grenadines and within the First Magisterial District, he did publish a false statement which was likely to cause fear or alarm or to disturb the public peace to wit: “I have just had confirmation that six (6) of the ballots were unsealed and one (1) missing. Six (6) of the ballots were unsealed and one (1) missing. It means that something went on down there in the polling station and we are calling for by-elections by Monday. We want by-election; we don’t want…And I want the leadership to the NDP to find some transportation, get supporters to go down there and to get into place, please and persons who can go on their own, go down there and support Exeter on this matter.”

He was charged under Section 64 (1) of the Criminal Code, Chapter 171 of the Revised Edition of the Laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines, 2009, which states that “Any person who publishes any false statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear or alarm or to disturb the public peace, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for one year.”

Section 64(2), however, says, “It shall be a defence to a charge under subsection (1) if the accused person proves, prior to publication, he took such measures to verify the accuracy of such statement, rumour or report as to lead him reasonably to believe that it was true.”

After it was announced on December 9, 2015 that the Unity Labour Party had won the general elections by a 8-7 majority, the opposition NDP refused to accept the results and called out their supporters.

DeFreitas stressed that what he considers political victimization will not last forever.

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