News site issues apology to prime minister
By Valencia Grant, press secretary to the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Dominicanewsonline.com has apologized “without reservation” to the prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, for republishing a ‘spurious’ report titled “St. Kitts-Nevis PM now revealed to hold Dominica diplomatic passport.”
The report was originally published by the online publication Caribbean News Now Oct. 19.
The next day, the prime minister issued a statement rejecting the report, as well as “the demonstrably falsified image of a passport accompanying it,” as “utterly baseless and malicious.” Prime Minister Harris categorically denied having a Dominica diplomatic passport or a passport from any other country “except for this beloved Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
In the subsequent apology posted on its website Oct. 22, Dominica News Online (DNO) acknowledged the following:
“The article contained numerous alleged, false statements about Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, as well as a falsified image of a diplomatic Dominican passport issued in the Prime Minister’s name. We did not contact the Prime Minister before publishing the article, nor did we have the image independently verified prior to posting it online. Dominica News Online has no basis to believe that the Prime Minister holds a passport issued by a country other than St Kitts and Nevis. We have been informed that the only passport that the Prime Minister holds –and has ever held –is one issued by St Kitts and Nevis.”
“We apologize without reservation to the Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris for all the harm caused to him and his reputation by our actions in publishing this erroneous article. We also sincerely apologize for not having contacted the Prime Minister to get his side of the story prior to publishing the article, and the statements and images therein.
Harris, in last Friday’s statement titled “Statement by the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, in response to malicious article in Caribbean News Now,”disappointed that this shameless piece of inflammatory propaganda – which was initially circulated on social media by St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party supporters – would make its way into a publication professing to cover regional news based on journalistic merit, professionalism and media standards.”
The statement also said that the prime minister and his legal counsel “are exploring all necessary avenues to correct the record, protect his good name and ensure that all those involved in propagating this lie are held to account.”