DeFreitas apologizes to PM,  asks him to drop other claims
March 1, 2013
DeFreitas apologizes to PM, asks him to drop other claims

Douglas DeFreitas, Managing Director of BDS Ltd. has asked Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves not to proceed with any other claims he has in court against BDS Ltd.{{more}}

DeFreitas, in a letter to Gonsalves dated February 27, said he was writing “in obedience with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, which (he) received today about 10 am.”

“This deep spiritual experience came after spending about four hours in thanksgiving to the Almighty God and the people of St. Vincent and the Diaspora for contributing towards the paying of your judgement debt. Notwithstanding all that has happened, I humbly request of you not to proceed with the other claims against BDS.”

On February 25, BDS Ltd. paid Gonsalves $206,142.47; the full judgement debt plus costs and interest, for a defamation case which the Prime Minister won against the BDS Ltd and Elwardo Lynch. For many years, Lynch hosted the New Democratic Party show “New Times” on Nice Radio, which is owned by BDS Ltd.

DeFreitas, in his letter to Gonsalves, said he trusted that the same Spirit which came over him, will stir Gonsalves “heart to come to that place”.

“I want to apologize for any discomfort I may have caused you. I cannot promise that in my quest for social justice, further comments will not be made on this station. However, the promoting of defamation is not on my agenda,” De Freitas said.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, Gonsalves said DeFreitas had spoken to him on Wednesday, prior to delivering the letter on Thursday morning. He said during that conversation, he told DeFreitas that he too has the Holy Spirit, which told him he must proceed with the matters against the persons who are defaming him, and the station which is “continuing with their campaign of vilification” against him.

Gonsalves said he appreciates that DeFreitas says the Holy Spirit touched him.

“But the Spirit moves in a mysterious way and you have to look for a sign to see if it is the true spirit or not. I haven’t seen the evidence. I have no problem with people criticizing, but there is this relentless, coordinated attack using Nice Radio as the medium, and I have become quite immune to these attacks, but there are persons close to me who get very hurt when you have these untrue attacks and this coordinated defamation,” Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT.

Gonsalves said he told DeFreitas that they have apologized before, but there would be an “apology one moment, then there would be a whole set of unfair attacks on the other hand”.

“By putting him in court, I am the devil, but when his sister-in-law put him in court for far more money, that is something where they agree on a receiver. How could I put you in court and it’s a problem, but when they put you in court, it is not a problem,” Gonsalves said, referring to a case in which Beachmont Estates Inc, owned by Merma DeFreitas, sister-in-law of Douglas, has sued BDS Ltd for almost $500,000. On January 28, BDS Ltd consented for a receiver to be appointed in that matter.

Gonsalves said he has two additional judgements against BDS Ltd, both of which have exhausted all their appeals. One relates to comments made by pharmacist Matthew Thomas, the other has to do with comments made by opposition member of parliament Daniel Cummings.

“My lawyers have instructions where I have judgments and the processes are completed, they must proceed,” he said.

“I really can’t stop these cases. I appreciate that he is apologizing for any discomfort he may have caused me, but he would have caused my mother discomfort, he would have caused my daughter discomfort, he caused Eloise (Gonsalves wife) discomfort. In relation to me, it’s like water off a duck’s back,” the Prime Minister said.

“I am proceeding. I am sure that the judicial process, would as always, be fair to everyone.”

Gonsalves said it had taken him 10 years to get his judgement in the case against BDS Ltd and Lynch.

When contacted, DeFreitas told SEARCHLIGHT that he had a good conversation with Gonsalves on Wednesday, but nothing conclusive was arrived at during the conversation.

“It was very pleasant,” DeFreitas said.