Gov’t denies acting to silence OBSERVER

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The government of Antigua & Barbuda has stated categorically that it has no intention of silencing the OBSERVER Media Group (OMG) and has distanced itself from the action taken by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) for debts that body claims are owed to it by the media house.

Minister of Information Melford Nicholas declared, “I want to be forceful in this positon – there is no such intent on behalf of the Gaston Browne administration.”

He added, “This commercial arrangement that must exist between the OBSERVER and APUA is separate and distinct from any issue of the government.”

This week, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the OBSERVER Media Group Darren Derrick called APUA’s claim in the High Court to be paid

EC $1,198,598.86 from Observer Publications Limited and EC $387,500.88 from Observer Radio Limited “an attack on the only independent media house in Antigua & Barbuda”.

The claim led to a judgement for the same from the High Court dated December 16, 2016 and received on January 18, 2017.

Nicholas said that the OMG “must now, too, establish its positon and go to the court” and accused the CEO of an “attack” on the APUA and the government. He argued that Derrick was using “this notion that we are trying to silence” as a “shield” to hide the fact that it has “financial difficulties … caused by their own management processes”.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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