The Herald reports:
“The statement that I never asked for an apology is completely incorrect,” Mr Shewan told the Herald today.
Mr Little told reporters this morning that he did not apologise to Mr Shewan, a former PwC chairman, over incorrect statements he made about his background in April because he was never asked to.
“I wasn’t asked to provide an apology. I was asked to provide his assurance that the media report I relied on was wrong.”
He added: “[Mr Shewan] explicitly said ‘I don’t need you to apologise, I want a correction of a statement’, and that’s what I’ve done.” …
But when Mr Little failed to issue a retraction for nearly two months, he wrote back to Mr Little’s office on June 10 and asked for the retraction to be expanded to include an apology.
“I specifically asked for an apology, that being because of the prolonged delay in getting the [comments corrected],” he said.
Mr Shewan said the Labour leader’s office rejected this request. He was also told that any further correspondence should be sent to Mr Little’s lawyer.
On the evening of June 18, a Saturday, Mr Little issued a statement retracting his comments, but stopped short of an apology.
Mr Shewan said he had been reluctant to take legal action while he was undertaking the inquiry into foreign trusts, which was publicly released yesterday.
But he was “dismayed” at Mr Little’s latest comments, and would not rule out further action.
“I’m not prepared to sit by and let him say anything more defamatory.
“I would prefer not to take any legal action and I think it is unlikely that I would. But I don’t just sit around and let people defame me. It’s just not on.”
Getting to be a bit of a trend here with the Hagaman defamation case also.
The Herald article includes the e-mail from Shewan to Little’s office which explicitly seeks an apology.
For Little to claim Shewan never asked for an apology means there are only really two possible options:
- Little’s office didn’t show Little the letter
- Little is lying