Former Finance Minister, Nazim Burke has decided to take legal action against talk show host, Ian Edwards who is an operative of the governing New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
THE NEW TODAY has obtained the copy of a letter, dated July 10, 2013 that was sent to Edwards of Tivoli, St. Andrew’s on Burke’s behalf by the Law Office of Alban M. John.
The letter referred to statements made in connection with Burke and properties that he allegedly owns in Grenada during a programme called, “Hard Talk” that is hosted by Edwards on several local FM stations.
According to the letter, Edwards allegedly used words to the effect on the programme, which suggested that when the former Finance Minister was in opposition, his home was for sale but after getting into office in July 2008, he was able to acquire a number of properties.
The letter threatening legal action suggested that Edwards was implying that Burke had been engaged in illegal and fraudulent means as a government minister to acquire property.
A source close to Burke said that he has denied the claim of owning several properties before the elections, and that it could have been easily checked out at the Supreme Court Registry.
During the campaigning for the February 19 general elections, Burke’s opponents often claimed that he owned as much as five houses and was allegedly living a luxurious life while the rest of the population was hurting from the international financial crisis.
A paid political advertisement in the name of the New National Party (NNP) was aired on television stations showing a mansion and dropping hints that it belonged to Burke.
A source who is close to Burke said that the former senior government minister has dismissed the statement made on the “Hard Talk” programme as being false and that it was politically motivated.
Burke has reportedly made it clear that he has not acquired that number of properties as alluded to by Edwards on the radio programme.
The source said the Deputy Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) labeled the allegations as innuendos and insinuations aimed at giving the impression that he had been engaged in illegal activities.
The letter from the law office said in part, “we now demand that within fourteen (14) days of receipt of this letter, you pay damages to our client in the sum of $35,000.00 plus costs $1,500.00 and that you issue and publish an apology in terms to be drafted by us, appropriately retracting your said allegations, such an apology to be published on the same medium through which the offending words were published or a medium of a similar standing”.
“We further demand that you undertake not to repeat the same or similar allegations in the future and TAKE NOTE that should we not hear from you within the time stipulated or should you refuse to comply with the demands herein, we have instructions to proceed to Court for redress, without further notice to you”, the letter added.