Georgetown, Guyana – (May 18, 2017) The Ministry of the Presidency rejects the malicious and misleading headline in the May 18, 2017 edition of the Guyana Times newspaper, headlined “President instructs AG not to apologise”, in which His Excellency President David Granger’s utterances were deliberately misrepresented.
Speaking to members of the press after the swearing in of the Justices to the Appellate Court, which was held at State House on Wednesday, May 17, the President responded to a question from Stabroek News Journalist, Ms. Zoisa Fraser where she asked “In relation to the matter with Justice Holder, are you going to ask the Attorney General to apologise?’
The President, in his response to that question, said, ”The Attorney General has explained what occurred in the court and if the Judge felt that his behaviour was in contempt the Judge knew what he had to do and he did not cite the Attorney General for contempt and as things stand I feel that the explanation given to me by the Minister of Legal Affairs adequately deals with the complaint, which I received.”
In a follow up question he was asked “So you do not believe that an apology is in order?” He responded saying “Under the circumstances, I cannot see that there was anything that would have warranted him being cited for contempt of Court and as I said that’s the important thing. His behaviour was not contemptuous of the Court so in that regard, there cannot be any justifiable call for an apology because his behaviour was not in contempt of the Court.”
At no time did His Excellency say that he had instructed the Attorney General not to issue an apology to Justice Franklin Holder. The Headline appearing in the Guyana Times is dishonest and not supported by the facts.
This erroneous headline and lead were published despite the fact that the President’s comments were publicised via television, the internet and other communication platforms. The assertions carried therein have no basis in fact and the Ministry is, therefore, calling for an immediate retraction.
While the Government of Guyana promotes and stands solidly behind press freedom, the Ministry of the Presidency calls on the Guyana Times and all media houses to pay attention to the ethics and responsibilities that ought to be observed in the profession of Journalism. It is also equally important that the Media take the responsibility to provide accurate information to the members of the public.