News Americas, BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Weds. Mar. 25, 2015: Former St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas is threatening to sue two local nationals over comments that the U.S. government had revoked his visa before the February 16th election.
The St. Kitts Observer and WINN FM are each reporting that Dr. Douglas has sent letters warning of his intent to sue Jermaine Lake, the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and Rivi Warner-Lake, the daughter of prominent People’s Action Movement politician Dr. Charles Warner over comments they made about him on Facebook.
According to the letters sent from Dr. Douglas’ attorney, the statements were “defamatory” and “scandalous” and meant to damage the former prime minister’s personal and professional reputation for political purposes.
Jermaine Lake’s post on March 11th, relates to comments pertaining to reports that Dr. Douglas had received a visit from US officials in January who revoked his US VISA.
“It is clear that you are not concerned with the true position,” the letter from Dr. Douglas’ lawyers stated according. “You acted with clear and transparently dishonest intention or with extreme recklessness in order to cause maximum damage to the former Prime Minister with the outrageous allegation.”
In the Warner-Lake case, Dr. Douglas asked for a retraction and apology and that she pay him $300,000 in compensation. Failure to respond “constructively” would result in Dr. Douglas issuing proceedings for defamation, the letter reportedly said.
The two individuals have been given 48 hours to respond before Dr. Douglas begins defamation proceedings.
Media reports began circulating weeks after the election that Dr. Douglas’ US visa had been revoked prior to the election.
New Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris in an address recently to his constituents lent the report credibility by saying: “The United States, the most powerful country in the world, determined that Denzil Douglas was improper and unfit to be accorded a US diplomatic visa and it is a shame and scandal for any national leader to have had such a condemnation put on him.”
But Dr. Douglas has refuted the claims as false, stating that the whole story is untrue and simply an effort to tarnish his reputation.
The U.S. Embassy in Barbados has referred NAN’s request for clarification on the reports to the U.S. State Department which has to date not responded to a request for comment on the issue.
PM Douglas’ 20-year rule of St Kitts and Nevis came to an end on February 16 when the opposition alliance, known as Team Unity, defeated the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party in the general election.