ST. GEORGE’S. Grenada, Feb 15, CMC – The leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nazim Burke is seeking compensation for the “pain and suffering” he experienced after Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell made what he claimed to be defamatory statements about him on a television programme.
Lawyers for Burke have written to Mitchell indicating that their client is also seeking a retraction, apology and financial compensation for the embarrassment, pain and suffering caused.
The January 30 letter was signed by attorney Rohan Phillip, who served as attorney general in the last NDC administration.
According to the letter, the Prime Minister alleged among other things that, Burke who served as Finance Minister during the period 2008 to 2013, evade taxes and was owing Government money for unpaid taxes. Besides the apology, retraction and compensation, the letter is also requesting that Dr Mitchell undertake in writing that he will not repeat the allegations or make similar allegations in the future.
In responding to inquiries about the letter, Press Secretary Kisha Alexander-Grant confirmed that the letter was in the hands of the Prime Minister lawyers and that Dr Mitchell would have made the statements “fully cognizant of the facts and in time that will reveal itself.
“So Senator Burke for his purposes can go ahead and do what he needs to do, whatever he feels he need to do, for whatever reason, political or otherwise and the Prime Minister will know what he needs to do when that time comes, the facts will bear themselves out,” she said.
Late last month, Prime Minister Mitchell said he remained baffled as to why Burke did not pay taxes owed to the state for several years.
Government figures show that Burke, who served as finance minister under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, did not pay taxes for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
In the television interview, Prime Minister Mitchell, who is also Minister of Finance, said an EC$30,000 dollar (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) tax relief was offered to Burke, who was due to receive more than EC$70,000 dollars in gratuity.