Faithful Nationals protest AG’s release of convicts; Cabinet calls decision an ‘error’

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The Faithful Nationals group held a protest yesterday over the multiple controversies surrounding the government of the Antigua and Barbuda.
The protest, which started in the morning, first targeted the Ministry of Tourism on Queen Elizabeth Highway, moved to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Legal Affairs, which are in close proximity.
Speaking to OBSERVER media, one of the organisers of the protest, Harold Lovell, said they are protesting bad governance by the Gaston Browne administration.
“We are protesting bad governance with respect [to] the e-books scandal, which has caused the nation millions of dollars; the Global Ports Holding scandal, as we are totally against the giveaway of our port for [30] years. We’re calling for the government to Continued on page 6
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rescind that deal. We are also against bad governance with the release of the murderers . . . and the embarrassment it has caused the nation of Antigua and Barbuda,” Lovell said.
Lovell added that, “The voices of these persons [at the protest] who could have been doing other things but came out in support [mean that this] is indeed a very, very good showing.”
Meanwhile, the Cabinet has issued a statement calling the release of the convicted sexual offenders and killers an “error in the procedure”.
In the weekly Cabinet notes, Chief of Staff Lionel Max Hurst stated that it was the former Superintendent of Prisons who made the recommendations to the Attorney General, and then the Minister, in Cabinet, has the responsibility to accept or reject those recommendations.
Hurst wrote that before the date of the release, letters were written withdrawing the warrants authorizing the releases.
However, because of time delay, the withdrawal letters were not acted upon until after the releases had taken place.
The Chief of Staff later added that the procedure was followed, but missteps led to the unfortunate release of prisoners who were not entitled to be released, as previously determined by the policy of the Cabinet.

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