PM considering response to broadcast advisers Stabroek News
June 11, 2002

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Prime Minister Sam Hinds is considering a response to the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting to its suggestion that another means of dealing with the broadcast of the Andrew Douglas tape, other than the imposition of sanctions, be found.

The ACBs suggestion was in response to the Prime Minister asking that it reconsider its decision not to comment on the appropriateness of the action of three television companies to air the tape. It said that it would prefer to work with all the television stations in setting standards to which they would all subscribe.

Government officials including Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon, have called for the committee to recommend that the stations be sanctioned.

Two of the three stations, which aired the tape, rejected suggestion that they had breached the conditions of their licences.

Tony Vieira and Max McKay of VCT and WRHM respectively contended that the public had a right to know about the reasons Douglas gave for his escape.

Vieira though, conceded that his staff should have passed a copy of the tape to the police before it was aired. He said that giving the tape to the police would have allowed them to glean whatever forensic evidence they could from it.

Both Vieira and McKay said that the ACB had not contacted them on the issue. Vieira, however, said that he had given the committee the benefit of his views on how he felt the industry could regulate itself.