No time to study Dr Agard, says BLP counsel
Two days before the legal suit brought by Christ Church West MP Dr Maria Agard against the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) comes up for hearing in the High Court, the party’s legal counsel said he was yet to read the documents served on the two defendants – BLP Chairman Mia Mottley and General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott.
Roger Forde, QC, explained that the documents were only recently served on his clients.
“I can’t give any position yet, cause I don’t know the position. The documents have only been served recently. We ain’t read them. I can’t give a position unless we read [them],” he stressed.
Forde also took issue with recent statements made by Dr Agard’s attorney Hal Gollop, QC, regarding filing of the court papers, saying “all this thing about filing ever since, we only just got the documents”.
Barbados TODAY has obtained a copy of the over 60-page affidavit and the seven-point statement of claim, filed by Dr Agard’s legal team.
And according to the date stamp, the documents were lodged with the Supreme Court on December 11, 2015.
The Christ Church West MP, whose case comes up for hearing in the High Court on Wednesday, is seeking damages from the BLP following the decision of the party’s National Council to expel her on November 22.
The statement of claim is also asking the court to declare unlawful, void and of no effect, the decision of the Mottley-led Council to dismiss her from the party.
The suit further urges the presiding judge to declare that the events which transpired on November 22 at party headquarters that led to Dr Agard’s expulsion, disregarded Dr Agard’s right to a fair hearing.
“A declaration of the decision to expel the claimant from the BLP in her absence, was a breach of the claimant’s right to a fair hearing,” the statement of claim adds.
The Christ Church West MP is also asking the court to declare that both Mottley and Walcott failed and/or refused to observe the rules of natural justice, while the National Council acted as a quasi judicial body in the disciplinary hearing of Dr Agard.
Apart from those specific claims, the former BLP parliamentary representative is requesting any further, or other relief deemed by the court to be just.
The statement of particulars, which will also form part of Agard’s case, recalls that the National Council passed a resolution on November 12 that she should be charged for breaches of discipline in accordance with Rule 82 of the BLP constitution.
However, Dr Agard’s legal team is contending that “the members sitting on the National Council at the hearing, were members of the same council that passed the resolution to prefer charges against the claimant”; therefore acting as judge, jury and executioner in the matter. (EJ)