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Parsons’ accusations outrageous and malicious, says Bollers

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Counsel for Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has demanded that the management of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation Limited (SVGBC), among other things, publicly apologize to the Prime Minister.{{more}}

In a letter dated December 8, signed by lawyer G. Grahame Bollers, and carbon copied to Arnhim Eustace, President of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), Bollers indicated that he is writing on behalf of Dr. Gonsalves, following the airing of defamatory material on SVGTV during a Tuesday night special which was presented by the NDP as part of its elections campaign.

“The said broadcast falsely and maliciously accused our client of committing an indecent assault on one Margaret Parsons, a Vincentian-Canadian Human Rights Lawyer, who herself falsely and maliciously narrated alleged details of this alleged assault which she claims took place six or seven years ago.”

The minute long clip of the half hour interview was first shown at a press conference, called by the party’s Public Relations Officer Vynnette Frederick on Tuesday, December 7, at the party’s headquarters in Richmond Hill.

Frederick, at that press conference, said that she believed that based on the information being provided by Parsons, the allegations are not going away.

Bollers’ letter to SVGBC highlighted that Parsons had unsuccessfully instituted private criminal proceedings against his client in March 2008. These charges were discontinued by the Director of Public Prosecutions because of lack of or insufficient evidence provided by Parsons. This discontinuance was never challenged, the letter said.

“It is a matter of public record that the police investigated this alleged assault and found no evidence to substantiate Ms Parsons’ false and malicious allegations.”

“More tellingly, Ms Parsons lied in her statement to police by falsely stating that shortly after the alleged assault, she reported its alleged occurrence to two professionals and political friends of hers, namely Mr. David Commissiong, a Barbadian Attorney-at- Law and Mr. Cikiah Thomas, of Canada. Both denied ever being told about any such alleged indecent assault.”

“It is also a matter of public record that our client gave the Police a written statement and allowed himself to be interviewed in the absence of his lawyers. He emphatically denied Ms. Parsons’ outrageous and malicious accusation. The Police also interviewed members of the staff, including security personnel at the Office of the Prime Minister, and found absolutely no corroboration or support for the alleged details of the alleged assault or its circumstances,” Bollers said.

Bollers’ letter says that even though Parsons expressed that her motive for coming forward with her allegations was to support the policewoman who had “also made false and scurrilous allegations against our client,” she did not reveal that she was angry at the Prime Minister because he refused to assist her with the purchase of a property at Union Island which was being sold by the National Commercial Bank. The bid for the property had been won by a foreigner, and Ms. Parsons sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to purchase it, the letter said.

“The refusal by our client, the Prime Minister, to do Ms. Parsons bidding enraged her enormously. Mr. Bernard Hamilton of the NCB confirmed her rage to the Police at the time of Ms. Parsons’ 2008 allegations,” the letter said.

“Now in the dying days of an election campaign in which the NDP is yet to publish a Manifesto, SVG TV has allowed itself to be abused and misused in broadcasting Ms. Parsons false and malicious defamatory allegations. This is clearly an NDP-sponsored distraction intended to draw attention away from their state of unreadiness to face the electorate.

“Had SVG TV been more careful and professional, it would have discovered that it is Ms. Parsons’ lawyer, … who recently contacted the NDP’s campaign Director Mr. Sven Hughes of the British based Strategic Communications Limited (SCL) and informed him that Ms. Parsons is anxious to be interviewed on her old allegation,” Bollers stated.

“In short, she is seeking to use allegations relating to sex and make believe female victimhood for her own and the NDP’s political purposes. This reeks of the vile and putrid stench of the NDP’s Ralpating campaign which has been relentless and ongoing for over ten years, but which in recent years has sunk to irrational and dangerous lows,” the letter said.

Apart from the “full and unequivocal withdrawal and apology of the slander”, which is to be vetted by Bollers and read on prime time on SVG TV, Bollers has demanded that SVG TV undertakes not to broadcast that or any other material against the Prime Minister. He has also demanded damages to be agreed upon and legal costs at an appropriate level.

“Unless you comply with the above demands forthwith you will be sued in the High Court. So, too, would Mr. Eustace and the NDP. Thus be guided accordingly,” the letter ended.

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