Earlier today, Alberto August, the Chairman of the United Democratic Party (UDP) apologized to the media for the assault by House Mase Bearer, Brian “Yellowman” Audinett on the media which occurred immediately following the suspension of last week’s senate hearing on immigration and nationality. The suspension of the sitting itself was as a result of the mayhem in the Gallery caused by the same group of men. We have his statement over the phone today courtesy of our colleagues at Krem :
Albert August, UDP Chairman: And while I might have let that charge out there on Wednesday, and what went wrong with the media is unfortunate, and as the person that was leading that charge, I take full responsibility for what happened, and I apologize for all the media that was involved in that situation. I whole heartedly apologize today, tomorrow and day after; but I am making a commitment that any other charge that Alberto August give, that there will be no disrespect for the media because the media is our friend.
UDP supporters lambased the UDP’s morning show on Wave Radio to denounce the behaviour of the small group of men led by August. Meanwhile, ranking United Democratic Party officials are trying to use the chaos as an opportunity to end the Senate Select Committee Hearings.. Today August had a different spin:
Albert August, UDP Chairman: It’s neither here nor there because like what we have said from before, that is going nowhere, that has nowhere to go. In terms of what might have gone wrong, in terms of former Minister Penner, the Prime Minister of this nation, the leader of the United Democratic Party took immediate action on an allegation alone and Penner was removed from cabinet immediately. Penner was sanctioned and was allowed to run back for our party again.
So in your view the hearing has served its purpose and does not need to continue?
They can call anybody else anytime. They can have it from now until thy kingdom come. All we are saying is that you cannot have an individual like Eamon Courtenay sitting there all pomp and pious.
In related news, nine media houses have written a joint letter to the Senate Special Select Committee condemning Wednesday’s attack on the media and requesting that Audinett, the Mace Bearer and Seargent at Arms of the National Assembly, be disallowed from returning to the gallery given the infractions committed. The letter which will be handed over to the Chairman before tomorrow’s senate hearing reads quote
“We are advised by the Police that Audinett’s behavior toward the press could actually be prosecuted as “threat of damage to property” and “common assault”.
“The purpose of the reports however is so that the incident is on the record and kept for future reference. Needless to say, such aggression toward the media should not be countenanced while we are performing our duty and in the National Assembly, no less! We therefore call on you and the Committee to disallow Audinett from returning to witness the proceedings in the gallery as he has grossly violated the sanctity of the National Assembly, which he himself serves. We hope that our request will be treated with the seriousness it deserves, considering that an attack of this nature on the media, if left unchecked, would speak ill of our country’s commitment to a free, fair and democratic society where the Fourth Estate can carry out its function without fear or hindrance.”
KREM News understands that Audinett has apologized to one of the cameramen who were aggressed last Wednesday. Tomorrow, whistleblower Alvarine Burgess is expected to take the witness stand. The hearing will be broadcast live on KREM Radio with a scheduled start of 10a.m.