NIA Lawyers Criticise CCM Deputy Leader for No Court Show

 

The matter which was heard on Wednesday 31st August, 2011, was before Justice Indra Hariprashad – Charles at the High Court in Charlestown, Nevis.

The Amended Election Petition was filed by Mr. Brantley, followed his party’s challenge of the results of the July 11th Nevis Island Elections that was declared in favour of the Nevis Reformation Party.

However neither the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Leroy Benjamin who is one of the key respondents of the petition or Mr. Brantley the petitioner was in court on Wednesday. Both indicated that they were otherwise engaged in matters that required their attention.

Counsel for the Supervisor of Elections, Returning Officer and Registration Office, Mr. Arud Gossai apologised for the absence of the Supervisor, whom he indicated was preparing for the Passing of the Baton of the Commissioner of Police one day later on 1st September 2011. The Supervisor is the Chaplain of the police force.

In the case of Mr. Brantley, his lawyer, Dane Hamilton, QC, reported that he was away on professional duties.Joseph-Parry-Premier-of-Nev

Mr. Hamilton was at the time in Nevis in connection with the swearing in of the new President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir Dennis Byron and was holding “papers” for the Petitioner’s Lawyer Mr. Mendes of Trinidad.

Those named in the petition are Premier of Nevis, and leader of the NRP, Joseph Parry, Deputy Premier, Hensley Daniel, (who ran against Brantley in the St. John Constituency), Members of the Electoral Commission and the Returning and Registration Officers. These were reported to be present in court

 

Dr. Henry Browne, Counsel for the Deputy Premier and 1st Respondent, Hensley Daniel made it clear that it was totally unacceptable that the Petitioner was absent, since he was the one who filed the case and he also filed a Summons for the matter to be heard

 

 

He also pointed out that all the other Parties were present and it was inexcusable for the Petitioner to be absent and more so on professional duties. All parties, except the Supervisor of Elections.dr-henry-browne-05
 
Dr. Browne said to the Court that the absence of the Petitioner showed that he was not serious about the petition that he had filed, since he seemed to have abandoned his case given his “cavalier stance”.
 
He further told the court, “The 1st Respondent abhors this kind of conduct. The Petitioner has sought to put his country on hold by filing this Amended Petition and it is more than regrettable that these proceedings do not appear to be high on his list of priorities, if at all.”
Mr. Gossai also pointed out to the Trial Judge that the absence of the Petitioner had to be taken seriously, since it pointed to the issue of costs which would depend, in part, on the conduct of the Petitioner.
 
The Trial Judge then gave directions for the trial of the matter but reserved the issue of costs to a later date.
 
The trial was set to commence on November 21st, 2011 and is expected to last for a period of five days.

 

 

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