Wilson demands that Lake stops slandering him

POSTED: 04/26/12 1:05 PM

St. Maarten – Rene “Koto” Wilson is still at war with Maurice Lake and his legal representative, attorney Roeland Zwanikken. In a letter dated April 20, Wilson demands that both Lake and his attorney “refrain from slandering the good name, reputation and pure and sincere intentions of my person.” Failing to do so, the letter states will leave no other option than “initiating legal proceedings.” He delivered a copy of his letter to the office of the public prosecutor.

The conflict between both parties stems from allegations leveled by the Soualiga Movement of Social Justice and its board members Wilson, Reginald Arrindell and Natasha Manuel against the former board of the St. Peters Community Council.

In a letter dated April 4, the law office of Bergman Zwanikken Snow Essed summoned the movement to provide proof for allegations of (among others) misappropriation of community owned assets within five days or otherwise to publicly retract the allegations.

Maurice Lake felt that the allegations were targeting him. The April 4-letter however labels the allegations as unfounded. Furthermore, attorney Zwanikken wrote to the movement: “the statements made are slanderous and constitute a wrongful act towards my client. With the unfounded and wrongful allegations and insinuations you deliberately try to tarnish the good name and reputation of my client.”

Eight days later, a new letter from the law office followed. It stated that a courier of the firm had attempted to hand-deliver a copy of the April 4-letter to Wilson, but that he had refused to accept it. Since the letter was published in both daily newspapers, the letter stated, Wilson should be aware of its content all the same.

“It is incomprehensible that on one side your group has decided to publicly make severe accusations and insinuations of alleged wrongdoings against my client, but that at the same time your group evades a discussion about it. This in itself proves that your group is acting in bad faith and that the real motives are everything but of an integer nature.”

Since the movement did not comply with the summons to provide evidence, the attorney for Lake concluded “that the statements you made are 100 percent fabricates and thus of a frivolous nature. (…) You are again summoned to refrain from slandering the good name and reputation of my client.”

Wilson’s reply of last Friday contains his position that no attempt was made to hand-deliver the April 4-letter to him, before it was published in the newspapers. Afterwards, he refused to accept it “based on the inaccuracy in your article.”

Wilson also says in his letter that Lake’s attorney is “not properly informed because his client failed to share all the details.” He referred to an article that appeared on March 21 in another daily newspaper for reference, without giving specifics about its content.

And while the two adversaries apparently shook hands at a town hall meeting on March 26 to put their differences aside, there is still some bad blood remaining, given the following line in Wilson’s letter after he makes a remark about respecting each other’s opinions: “Even more disturbing is the fact that Mr. Lake deems it appropriate and acceptable for him to publicly tarnish people’s character while voicing his opinion; but he is immediately offended, threatened and downright furious when his opinion is not shared or when it is challenged.”

Wilson furthermore states in his letter that he has never accused Lake of any wrongdoing, and that he never asked for an investigation against his person either. What was said, Wilson wrote, is: “should any wrongdoing be uncovered the prosecutor would be informed and charges pressed.”

There was never a mission to slander or damage any individual, the letter furthermore states. “As a concerned citizen of St. Peters my sole aim is to stand up for a community that has far too long been neglected.”

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