Lawyer, social activist lead effort to save NICE Radio
October 30, 2012
Lawyer, social activist lead effort to save NICE Radio

Owner and manager of NICE Radio Douglas De Freitas said that there is a “great deal of hypocrisy” regarding a lawsuit by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves that resulted in the court ordering the station to pay $250,000 in damages {{more}} because of comments broadcast on the station eight years ago.

Yesterday, De Freitas, along with his lawyers, held a press briefing at the office of lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne, where Bacchus-Browne and social activist Junior Bacchus launched an appeal for financial assistance from the public to pay the outstanding debt.

Since the lawsuit won by Gonsalves in 2009, no money has been paid.

And it was revealed during the press briefing that Gonsalves’ lawyers have requested that the money be paid.

Due to the non-payment, an additional amount of 6 per cent interest has accrued.

“Let me show you some hypocrisy. This very same company that they are asking to pay this money, from 2001 has been under attack from this very administration that Dr Gonsalves handles…” De Freitas said.

He said that he was shown a letter in 2001 by the advertising agent for the National Lottery Authority, informing him that they were no longer to advertise with the station.

“So, they closed down anything from the National Lottery,” De Freitas stated.

De Freitas, who said he now leaves everything up to God, revealed that he stands to lose more than just NICE Radio if the payment is not made.

“Most people focus on NICE Radio. The owner of NICE Radio is BDS Company. All that I have is invested in BDS and BDS owns NICE Radio. So, it’s not just the radio station that will go if this is wind up. All that I have will go,” he said.

De Freitas also disclosed that his offer of a monthly payment of $2,000 towards the payment of the damages was rejected.

It was also revealed that Gonsalves’ lawyers filed an application in the High Court to appoint Kirk Da Silva to be a receiver — to take over and manage NICE Radio.

“… Dr Gonsalves feels that it is time he should get his money. And one of the ways to do that is to either levy execution or sell the goods of the judgement debtor or if the judgement debtor is carrying on business, you can ask the court to appoint what is called an equitable receiver,” Bertram Commissiong QC, a lawyer for NICE Radio said.

The objective, however, is to avoid the appointment of an equitable receiver, Commissiong said.

The idea of the “Save Nice Radio” appeal was orchestrated by Kay Bacchus-Browne and Junior Bacchus.

Commissiong said he was gratified when he learnt that Bacchus-Browne and Bacchus had decided, as beneficiaries of NICE Radio, to launch the appeal to raise the funds.

They said NICE Radio is important to the nation.

The spoke of the station’s wide coverage in sports, culture, religion, education, national disaster and politics and made special attention to freedom of speech.

Events and activities to raise the funds include a car raffle and a concert in December.

Persons interested in donating to the Save Nice Radio effort can make financial contributions through account number 15504 at the RBTT bank.(AA)