The following release was issued by the Ministry of Justice on Friday (April 9):
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the Hon Dorothy Lightbourne, who is also Leader of Government Business in the Senate
There has been much discussion in the media regarding the suspension of Senator K.D. Knight on March 26, 2010 for two sittings of the Senate.
The discussion has focused primarily on Senator Knight’s offensive references to Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, Minister of Justice and Attorney General and discussion as to whether he should be given an opportunity to be heard in regard to his use of offensive language to Senator Lightbourne.
The fact of the matter as recorded in Hansard, is that Senator Knight was directed by the President of the Senate to withdraw the offensive statement, which he refused to do, and instead picked up his papers and walked out of the Senate.
This was the more compelling reason for the disciplinary action taken against Senator Knight. No amount of opportunity given to Senator Knight to respond could avail him in justifying his gross disrespect to the President of the Senate.