NDP lawyer questions use of ‘taxpayers money’
September 7, 2010
NDP lawyer questions use of ‘taxpayers money’

The lawyer who is representing the Opposition in its case against the Boundaries Commission has raised serious concerns about the fees requested by the Commission’s legal team.{{more}}

At a press conference held on Friday, September 3, 2010, lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne, along with calling for the current Boundaries Commission to be disbanded, said: “I have not seen the document that the lawyers are to get over $400,000, but from good information, this is what they are asking for.”

“I don’t know if they have been paid yet,” she continued. “But you, the tax payers must ask the question!”

The legal team (representing the Commission) includes Dr Kenny Anthony – former prime minister of St Lucia; Dominican lawyer Anthony Astaphan; and Vincentian lawyers Richard Williams and Grahame Bollers.

In previous statements, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves had said that the team had advised him that the Opposition’s case was “trite”.

Bacchus-Browne countered: “If our matter was so simple and so trite, why they [the Commission] brought in two lawyers from abroad, employed two lawyers from here, and pay them over $400,000 of tax payers’ money? Answer me that, Mr Prime Minister.”

She added that the recent decision to withdraw the Boundaries Commission Report indicated that the Opposition’s case is not as frivolous as the Prime Minister would have the public believe.

“They are thereby acknowledging that our case was strong!” Bacchus-Browne insisted.

Adamant that the Prime Minister believes he is speaking to idiots, Bacchus-Browne questioned: “Why now, at this late stage, seek to withdraw the order and render our claim academic?”

“The answer… is that our claim is sound. It is based on good evidence, and if the matter goes to trial, the Boundaries Commission will be defeated.”

Twelve issues will be examined in the September 30 trial, including whether the Commission is acting arbitrarily; whether it acted in excess of or without jurisdiction; and whether the demarcation favoured the ruling Unity Labour Party. (JV)