After being summoned to appear in court on Monday, journalist and talk show host Mathias Peltier Jr had a relatively easy time, not having been asked to explain why privately-owned radio station Q95 was able to broadcast a recorded version of the election petition judgement of Justice Gertel Thom that was read out in court on January 10 by High Court Judge Brian Cottle.
Peltier and other members of the media were in court to hear Justice Cottle express disappointment with the development, telling those present in the courtroom that he had “great difficulty” with that.
Justice Cottle is reported to have said that he does not want his voice out on the electronic media, that he has been very accommodating to the media in Dominica, and that the court remains open to assisting them.
The judge made it clear however, that he was not pleased that a recording was done without the court’s permission, and that it was broadcasted.
While there had been reports that Peltier and his station along with the individual who did the recording could have been held in contempt of court, the judge went only so far as to say that those involved should let their conscience be their guide.
The recording matter is said to have lasted only a few minutes on Monday morning.
Peltier, who hosts the Q95 programme ‘Matt in the Morning’ told reporters after the court session that it was a learning experience.
Quizzed about who had supplied him with the recording of the court judgement, he declined to comment.
Peltier was issued with a summon on Friday by a local bailiff.
There had been reports that the Registrar General Reginald Winston was exploring legal options following the airing of a recorded version of the ruling in the election petition matter on Q95.
Winston indicated last week that no media house was given permission to record the proceedings.
He also indicated in the local media that those responsible for the recording and airing of the election petition judgement could be held in contempt of court.