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An Antiguan Parliament member, Asot Michael, wants an apology and a retraction for what he says are libelous claims, the Antigua Observer reported.

Michael’s letter is published in full on Caribarena.com.  According to the letter, Michael’s complaints are over Dwyer Astaphan’s article “Busted in India?” for SKNVIBES.com and for St. Kitts and Nevis Observer.  The claims were also published in April 14’s News Pages and April 16’s Caribarena.com.  The article is published here on the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer’s website.

The news outlets reported about “his character and his recent trip to India with Prime Minister of St Kitts & Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas,” according to the Antigua Observer, which didn’t provide more information about the articles in question, writing “the alleged slanderous statements cannot be repeated.”  CMVLive.com added that the article in question “raises questions relating to the payment of his airfare to India and his other expenses.”

Michael said in a “letter to columnist Dwyer Astaphan,” “I was absolutely horrified at this story. It is a demonstration of reputation slander and astonishing untruth, adorned with the defects of vanities and pretensions of good sense. At a glance, your story reflects a scramble for public attention, but on careful review, it reveals crude bashing masked as probing insight.”

In the letter, Michael called the article “viciously inaccurate, wantonly slanderous, and deliberately harmful.”  Further, Michael wrote the article “dabbles in character lynching, with no consideration of journalistic integrity or professional ethics” and that the article suggests there was an arrest or expose.

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“I intend to seek damages from you, Sir, if you fail to retract the entire article in a manner satisfactory to me,” Michael wrote to Astaphan.

Michael noted that the Tribune in Jalandhar wrongly reported that Michael was “Foreign Minister of Antigua” and that the newspaper’s “principal correspondent” sent out a correction.

We wrote to SKNVibes.com and the Observer asking more about this case. An unsigned e-mail from the Observer directed us to its website where it has “any news…on this issue.”

UPDATE: 4/24/2012: 9:10 PM EST: Fixed  timestamp.

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Antiguan Politician Calls for Apology & Retraction for Article he says is Libelous

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