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Claudette Joseph will not accede to PM Mitchell’s demands

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by Linda Straker

  • Joseph claimed pronouncement from Dr Mitchell can be viewed in a Youtube video
  • Joseph does not desire a legal battle and is not prepared to issue an apology nor pay any sum
  • Joseph expressed view that free speech as afforded in the constitution is under attack

Cajeton Hood, Legal Counsel for Claudette Joseph, said that his client will not be acceding to any of the demands in the pre-action protocol letter in which she is alleged to defame Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell.

The letter was served on his client by the law firm of Nigel Stewart and Associates last Friday, giving Joseph seven days to respond. If she did not respond, the letter informed that further legal action would be taken without notice.

“My client who is sitting to my right, is not prepared to accede to any of the demands that are contained in the letter,” said Hood who served as Attorney General to the Keith Mitchell administration from 2013 to 2017.

Joseph, at a news conference called by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to express concerns about the Al Jeezra production “Diplomats for Sale” said Dr Mitchell is also an investor in the shrimp farm project for the parish of St Mark. The project was among other regional Citizenship by Investment (CBI) projects highlighted in the production which alleged that administrations in the region are selling diplomatic passports.

Joseph is claiming that the pronouncement from Dr Mitchell can be viewed in a Youtube video.

Dr Mitchell has denied that he was an investor in the project which was an approved CBI project. Government in March announced an investigation into that project after it failed to materialise. An update is yet to be publicly provided.

The letter from Nigel Stewart and Associates is demanding that Joseph, who is the Public Relations Officer for the main opposition National Democratic Congress and a lawyer by profession, cease and desist from repeating the claim; apologise and pay compensation in the amount of EC$350,000.

In his official response to the prime minister’s demands, Hood said that his client does not desire a legal battle and is not prepared to issue an apology nor pay any sum. “My client will not be paying a cent,” Hood said in a news conference where he informed the media that his client has officially responded to Dr Mitchell’s letter.

“As far as we are concerned, whatever interpretation Ms Joseph could have put to the statement that the Prime Minister made, it is not outside of the bounds of the content of the statement. The issue is not what you wanted people to hear but what objectively a person can conclude from your statement,” said Hood. “The court is not going to holding you liable if your interpretation is a reasonable interpretation of what was said,” he continued.

“No retraction,” Joseph added while expressing the view that the free speech as afforded in the constitution is under attack. “This is an effort to silence people who dare to speak,” she said.

Hood is claiming that the demands in the pre-action protocol letter is not in keeping with the standard procedures of the justice system because there is always room for negotiation when it comes to compensation and it is not demanded upfront.

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Caribbean & World

Prime Minister meets with executive members of Caribbean Congress of Labour

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Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, and Minister of Labour, Honourable, Peter David, met Friday with executive members of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) who were in Grenada for a meeting of the regional organisation.

In welcoming the team, headed by President Andre Lewis of Grenada, Dr Mitchell underscored the importance of the labour movement and of working together.

He noted that the current Chair of the Caribbean Community, Honourable Mia Mottley of Barbados shares that opinion, hence the invitation to labour representatives to attend the inter-sessional meeting in Barbados this week.

Dr Mitchell said, “In the new global community, unless we work together, we would not survive. We need to unify our efforts – businesses, governments and labour to meet the fundamental challenges we face today. The Government of Grenada looks forward to continued cooperation as we go forward.”

Andre Lewis, who was elected President of the CCL last November, said the organisation also favours the collaborative approach and welcomed the opportunity to work with Caribbean leaders. He said, the CCL also believes the tripartite approach is necessary.

The Prime Minister also raised the issue of productivity, which he said needs to be addressed. The CCL executive members noted that productivity must be looked at in all its dimensions.

The subject of a possible government subvention for the CCL was discussed. Dr Mitchell, who is also the Minister of Finance, said government will be willing to support efforts by the regional trade union umbrella body, especially as it endeavours to empower its membership.

This drive to empower has already started. Through the CCL’s partnership with Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies in Trinidad and Tobago, the Grenada Trades Union Council is planning a one-week training session in leadership for its affiliates.

Dr Mitchell also suggested that the trade unions get involved in business ventures that can benefit their members over time. Some unions in Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica are already engaged in such activities and Dr Mitchell suggested that this approach be encouraged in other countries, including Grenada.

Office of the Prime Minister

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Caribbean & World

CARIBEWAVE 2020 to be staged on 19 March

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The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) continues its preparation for the hosting of CARIBEWAVE 2020, carded for Thursday, 19 March 2020.

This year’s scenario will involve a 8.9 magnitude earthquake just off the coast of Jamaica, triggering a tele-tsunami in our area.

The exercise will be held along the western corridor: Victoria, Gouyave and Grand Mal, but triggering a national response.

The 2020 exercise gives the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique a unique opportunity to test the SOP (Standard Operating Protocol) created in 2019 as part of the certification of being Tsunami Ready in November 2019.

The exercise will be conducted simultaneously in Carriacou and Petite Martinique. We therefore encourage the general public to visit the website Tsunamizone.org to register for the exercise.

CARIBEWAVE (Caribbean Tsunami Warning Exercise) is a tsunami exercise held annually in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, under the direction of UNESCO and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The purpose of the CARIBEWAVE exercise is to improve the effectiveness of the Tsunami Warning System along the Caribbean coast.  The exercise provides an opportunity for emergency management organisations throughout the region to test their operational lines of communications, review their tsunami response procedures, and to promote tsunami preparedness.

The objectives of the CARIBEWAVE Exercise are to test and evaluate the operations of the Caribbean Tsunami Warning System (Caribe EWS), to validate preparedness response to a tsunami (which are test protocols and communications systems between tsunami warning centres and the tsunami warning focal points), and the use of the PTWC (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center) enhanced tsunami products for the Caribbean, as well as assist in tsunami preparedness efforts of the emergency management agencies in those areas.

For additional information, please contact Oslyn Crosby Public Relations Officer, NaDMA on 440-8390/ 440-0838, or 533-0766 email: nadma@spiceisle.com / nadmapr@gmail.com . 

NaDMA, the official source for all disaster related information in Grenada. 

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Caribbean & World

Missing Man Found | NOW Grenada

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30-year old, Devon Jeffrey of La Mode, St George, who was reported missing on Monday, 17 February 2020 has been found and has been reunited with his family. 

The Royal Grenada Police Force thanks the general public and the media for their continued support.

Office of Commissioner of Police

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