Rohan Phillip vs Jimmy Bristol

The Grand Beach Resorts Court Case

Grenada’s Attorney-General Rohan Phillip has instituted legal proceedings against his predecessor in the office, Jimmy Bristol seeking to get a high court judge to remove him from acting as one of the legal representatives of a client who brought a case against the State.

Jimmy Bristol – representing Time Bourke

A high-level source told THE NEW TODAY that Phillip is accusing Bristol of engaging in unethical behaviour by accepting a retainer from Time Bourke Holdings (Grenada) Limited to engage in a legal battle against the Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

He said that Prime Minister Tillman Thomas instructed Phillip to move the court to get Bristol to remove himself from the case on the grounds that he was the defacto Attorney General of the country when the dispute started between Time Bourke and the State over the Grand Beach Resorts issue.

Bristol was asked to step down from the AG post when information surfaced that he used a government letterhead to write a letter to the U.S Justice Department seeking leniency for his stepson on a drug-related case.

This newspaper sought to get copies of the action taken against Bristol by Phillip but was told that it is too sensitive a matter at this stage to be made available to the press.

“It is under lock and key for the time being. It cannot be released just as yet”, said a source close to the case.

However, THE NEW TODAY was able to obtain the copy of a lawsuit, which Bristol filed on behalf of Time Bourke against Prime Minister Thomas and his Cabinet of Ministers seeking compensation for the acquisition of the Grand Beach lands.

Attorney General Rohan Phillip – accusing his predecessor of engaging in unethical behaviour

The local attorney is seeking “an order of Certiorari” from the court “to quash the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Grenada and to advise the Governor-General that a parcel of land, approximately 20 acres….at Morne Rouge …. which land was then in the private ownership of the Applicant (Time Bourke), but subject to a leased in favour of Issa Nicholas (Grenada) Limited for the unexpired term of 99 years from the date of that lease, should be acquired for a public purpose…. the enhancement of the hotel stock in Grenada, and that for that purpose he should cause a declaration to that effect to be made pursuant to the Land Acquisition Act…”.

A legal source said that the move by Bristol is aimed at getting the State to commit itself to paying millions to Time Bourke in compensation over the acquisition of the lands.

The former Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government had made the lands available to grand prix drier, Lewis Hamilton, the principal figure in Time Bourke as part of a deal to build a five star hotel on the property.

The deal reportedly fell through when the Hamilton Group failed to honour its financial obligations to Nicholas, one of the foremost hotel tycoons in the Caribbean.
Time Bourke is said to have made an initial payment of $4 million to Nicholas and did not hand over the balance of the funds believed to be in the vicinity of $36 million.

Within weeks of coming into office, Prime Minister Thomas and his government to wind of the Hamilton deal with the former administration and started to questioned the transparency of the action.

After a protracted stalemate, the Grenadian leader took the decision to acquire the lands and Time Bourke through Bristol decided to institute legal proceedings against the State.

It is believed that a value of fifteen million dollars was put on the lands in the talks that took place between the Mitchell government and the agents of Hamilton.

It is reported that this value would be realised by the grant to the Government of Grenada the “right to use and reproduce approved photographs and recordings of Lewis Hamilton and Lewis Hamilton’s name, autography and biography for and in connection with the promotion of the State of Grenada for a period of four years…”.

Run-Away Stanisclaus Back in Custody

Alister Stanisclaus – brought back to Grenada to face numerous charges

Fugitive from justice, Alister Stanisclaus who skipped the country almost one month ago while in police custody has been brought back home from St. Vincent to face trial for a number of bank-related fraud charges.

Stanisclaus who was in police custody at the South St. George Police Station at Morne Rouge, St. George’s escaped lawful custody and days later made his way to the neighbouring island.

However, he was quickly picked up by the authorities in SVG and spent 14 days in jail there for breach of immigration regulations.

Stanisclaus who describes himself as a poultry farmer of Radix in Mt. Parnassus, St. George’s was deported back to Grenada on Tuesday morning on board a LIAT Flight.

He emerged from the aircraft clad in a light blue jersey, three-quarter plaid pants, a pair of sandals on his feet, and was using a green jersey to cover both lower ends of his wrists that were handcuffed.

Stanisclaus was tightly escorted out of the arrival lounge of the Maurice Bishop International Airport by two Police Officers who are attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and taken into an awaiting vehicle.

He was moved directly to the CID Headquarters on Hillsborough Street, St. George’s where he was interrogated by the lawmen who slapped additional charges on him including escaping lawful custody.

Stanisclaus who was due to appear in court on October 26 on bank fraud charges broke loose from the police station at Morne Rouge after he was paid a visit by one of his close aides and alleged associate in crime, Andy John.

The poultry farmer who was released on bail in the sum of $50,000.00 four months ago allegedly made off with thousands of dollars from the ABM’s of Scotiabank.

He is accused of tapping into the accounts of a number of prominent people including a female Magistrate and managed to take hold of just over $100,000.00.

Stanisclaus allegedly stole $69,970.00, and $41,500.00 from different Scotiabank ABM’s.

The escaped prisoner was also linked to a number of robberies on the island including the January 16, 2011 robbery at Club Bananas in True Blue involving $30, 406.00, $29, 000 robbery last July of C-Tec gas station at Grand Anse, and robbery of entertainer Wayne “Waggy-T” Redhead and his wife of $1, 900.00 on June 12, 2011.

Stanisclaus is also facing a charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition along with Andy John that was found inside the driver’s door compartment of a green van on July 27, 2011.

“Muddy Belly” Phillip named 2012 Unsung Hero

A former National Footballer is the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank 2012 Unsung Hero.

Francis “Muddy Belly” Phillip who has taken upon himself to voluntarily pass on the basic techniques of football to youngsters of River Road/Darbeau in St. George’s has been awarded by the bank with a plaque and a cheque in the sum of $16,200.00.

2012 CIBC FirtsCaribbean International Bank Unsung Hero, Francis Phillip receives the cheque from bank’s manager, Nigel Ollivierre

Country Manager Nigel Ollivierre who made the presentation to Phillip at the Grenada National Stadium last week Thursday said it is unfortunate that persons who have selflessly build and nourish their communities are not recognized.

Ollivierre said the bank is, however, proud to publicly celebrate one of these persons who worked behind the scene selflessly to reach out to strangers.

“This hero (Phillip) is a reminder to FirstCaribbean that our decision to launch our Unsung Hero Programme in 2003 was a wise one,” he added.

The bank’s Country Manager noted that since 2003 they have seen a cadre of brilliant people using their own resources, time and efforts to make Grenada and the Caribbean a better place.

Member of Staff of FirstCaribbean International Bank, Tanatha Calliste who read the citation spoke of the awardee always having an ongoing concern for the development of the youth in his River Road Community where, according to her, there is a growing rate of delinquency among young people.

Calliste said as an active member of the community, the former National Footballer engaged in imparting his knowledge and skills to the youth.

Phillip started the Wembley Football Academy in 2008 where the game of football is taught to boys and girls of River Road and the surrounding communities.

Calliste said through the academy the young participants are taught discipline, respect for each other, teamwork and give them something valuable to do with their time on Saturday mornings.

According to Calliste, in addition to teaching the skills of football, Phillip provides the children with an opportunity to learn the benefits of competition, hard work, goals setting, cooperation, respect and sportsmanship in a safe, structured and positive environment.

Education and Human Resource Development Minister, Senator Franka Bernadine who attended the ceremony underscored the overall value of Phillip’s football programme.

Sen. Bernadine said there cannot be enough awards for people who volunteer since it is about building without receiving the usual benefit that is given financially.

Sen. Bernadine stressed that when country and community are being built, it cannot be done without voluntarism and goodwill.

Coordinator of Sports, Conrad Francis who also addressed the ceremony commended the efforts that Phillip is making without receiving any rewards.

Francis said although playing fields are provided by the Ministry of Sports free of cost to many other coaches in Grenada, they resort to charging the youngsters who are in their programme.

He said unlike those who engage in that attitude, Phillip has decided to conduct his three-hour weekly programme voluntarily.

“I think Mr. Phillip is a flower in that whole aspect of things, and I commend him for volunteering his services to help these kids develop their talent,” he remarked.

 

New York Lawyer: Keith Mitchell could lose all credibility

“Disgraceful”

That was the word used by an American lawyer, I.R. Greene to describe the treatment handed down by former Grenada Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell to one of his former employees in Brooklyn, New York.

Greene has been retained by Rodge Jones to file a civil lawsuit in the United States against Dr. Mitchell and his wife, Marietta, the owners of a multi-million dollar apartment block of buildings known as MK Manor that is located on Linden Boulevard.

Dr. Keith Mitchell and wife are locked in a court battle with close cousin, Rodge Jones, the former “Super” of their apartments building in Brooklyn, New York

The dismissed employee is seeking an estimated EC$1.08 million in gratuity payment from the Mitchells’ in connection with an agreement signed with him in 1982 to serve as the Superintendent of their apartments in the heart of Brooklyn.

The U.S lawyer blasted Dr. Mitchell as one who could lose all credibility if the Grenadian people knew the true facts of the manner in which he treated Jones who is a close family member of the former Prime Minister.

He said: “The suit arises from his (Dr. Mitchell) purchase of an apartment house in Brooklyn NY and his employment of his first cousin, Rodge Jones, a naturalised US citizen as resident manager of that building. The Mitchells’ treatment of Rodge Jones is disgraceful. Paid off the books by the Mitchells’, Jones never qualified for US Social Security. All that time, he had no medical coverage, no insurance, no pension plan.

“In his (Jones) last nine years of service, he had but one three week vacation. His reward for 27 years of faithful service was discharge and eviction. Even worse, the Mitchells’ breached their promise to pay him severance. No wonder your PM (Keith Mitchell) wants to quash this lawsuit. The Mitchells’ have left their cousin penniless after a lifetime of service. If the Grenadian people knew the true facts, Keith Mitchell would lose all credibility with the electorate”, he added.

Dr. Mitchell will soon be leading his New National Party (NNP) into battle against the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) in general elections for a new Government in St. George’s.

He has promised a new computer to every school child if re-elected to office, as well as to become a new looking Prime Minister from the one dogged by frequent allegations of corruption and wrongdoing in his previous 13 years in office.

The New York lawyer also ruled out the possibility of Dr. Mitchell being able to apply for immunity from prosecution in the Rodge Jones lawsuit if he won the general elections in Grenada and becomes the Prime Minister once again.

Attorney Greene pointed out that the lawsuit filed against Dr. Mitchell and his wife does not involve any “official acts” against Grenada.

“In fact, Jones v. Mitchell is a purely private matter involving no questions of state. It is purely a New York matter. All services by the Plaintiff (Jones) were performed in Brooklyn, New York. Moreover, when the Mitchells’ bought 484 Linden Blvd. Mr. Mitchell was not PM. When Mitchell fired Jones, he was not PM. This case is no more than a breach of contract by an employer (Mitchell and his wife) to the disadvantage of an employee under New York law”, he remarked.

“Nothing in the NY civil case has any relationship to “official acts” of Grenada or Mr. Mitchell’s status as the Grenadian PM. Mitchell certainly deserves something official because of his bad acts against Jones. However, one thing he does not merit is immunity from the lawsuit”, he said.

The lawyer also disclosed that the Mitchells’ will have to turn up in person on February 19, 2013 to give evidence in the case based on the ruling handed down last week Tuesday by high court judge Larry Martin.

“The Stipulated date has been changed for the deposition on consent from 2/18 to 2/19 because 2/18 is a public holiday in NYS. I will send …the amended order to you within a day or two”, he said.

Jones’ attorney was asked earlier to comment on claims being made by Mitchell that he knew nothing about a date being set for he and his wife to appear to defend themselves in the Rodge Jones case.

Greene issued the following response after hearing the contents of an interview, which was conducted between the former Prime Minister and MTV’s Cheavon Benjamin.

“This is most interesting. This is a civil matter, not a criminal one. His (Dr. Mitchell) attorney has already agreed that he shall appear and give testimony. Apparently, this has caused him considerable distress. I will review this with my colleagues and get back to you shortly. Thank you”.

His response came nearly one week after Dr. Mitchell denied a published story in The New Today newspaper alleging that he and his wife were ordered by Judge Martin to appear in person in the case filed by Jones who is originally from Happy Hill in St. George’s.

“I don’t know about what you talking about”, was the response of Dr. Mitchell to a question posed to him on the issue by Benjamin.

Jones is seeking a gratuity payment of an estimated US$400, 000.00 from the Mitchell’s for his 27-years of service as the Superintendent of their multi-million dollar luxury block of apartments in Brooklyn.

The article “Keith Mitchell to appear in New York Court on February 18″ was published last week on the front page of The New Today newspaper and was accompanied by a copy of the court document filed by Mr. Jones (Plaintiff) against Dr. Mitchell and his wife (Defendants).

In what appeared to be a moment of confusion for the former Prime Minister, Dr. Mitchell admitted that there are issues with an individual whom he said was fired for unmentioned reasons and that he has agreed to civil proceedings with an unidentified person.

He told MTV that what he has been dealing with is ” … a private business, I hired a worker and fired …how that become an issue here?”

According to documents obtained by The New Today, the former employee is accusing Dr. Mitchell and his wife of trying to renege on a contract agreement signed with him in 1982 to act as “The Super” of their building estimated to be worth US$8 million.

“The Super” has instituted court proceedings against the Mitchell’s to seek compensation, believed to be in the region of EC$1.08 million.

Unconfirmed reports are that the Mitchell’s had offered to pay Jones US$200,000.00 in a one-off payment but he turned it down on the grounds that it was insufficient.

However Dr. Mitchell told MTV: “I don’t know that, that is not true … that’s totally false … that totally false. “I don’t (know) where they getting their stories from. I’ve not heard anything like that, absolutely”.

“We have a lot of fictitious people in this country for whatever reasons … Seriously… it is the first time I’m hearing about this. I know there is a civil case that we have dealt with and are dealing with.

“We’ve decided to go to court … and certainly not the kinds of monies you talking about. Better I sell the building if that is the case, but I don’t know what you talking about. I have not been summoned”, Dr. Mitchell said.

Sources told THE NEW TODAY that the Mitchell’s had filed an earlier civil lawsuit against Jones to evict him from their property known as MK Manor in the heart of Brooklyn.

Jones was sacked and the job of “Super” for the Brooklyn apartments owned by the Mitchell’s given to Allen Mc Guire, the former Consul-General of Grenada to New York during the New National Party (NNP) administration stint in office.

Jones, a relative of the former Prime Minister, provided his services to the Mitchell’s at their multi-million dollar apartment building in Brooklyn since 1982 performing a host of tasks including the collection of rent from tenants occupying the building and to do all the necessary maintenance work on the property.

This newspaper understands that Dr. Mitchell and his wife signed an agreement with Jones agreeing to pay him 5% of the value of the property at the end of his contract in the form of a gratuity payment and for holiday pay.

The New York judge also set aside March 6 as the alternative date for Dr. Mitchell and his wife to appear to give evidence if bad weather like a snowstorm prevented them doing so on February 19.

This is the second known occasion that the former Grenada Prime Minister has been hauled before a US Court.

During his tenure as Prime Minister Mitchell legal action was taken against him by U.S citizen, Charles Howland to recover certain monies from Dr. Mitchell that he received from imprisoned fraudster, Eric Resteiner in June 2000 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

However he evaded due process on the grounds that he was the head of a sitting government.

Howland and dozens of persons were defrauded of more than 40 U.S million by Resteiner who was appointed to serve as a Grenada Ambassador during the rule of Mitchell’s former NNP administration.

 

 

 

 

 

The bad wolves are coming out!!!

Two recent statements from the leading private sector organisations in the country should not go unnoticed by the people of Grenada.

Both the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) and the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA) have made public pronouncements about the state of things in the country and according to them the failure of the current administration of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas to implement a number of promised projects.

It appears that the two organisations are very mindful of the hostile global environment in which the world has now found itself. However, the timing of their statements should not be taken lightly.

Thomas’ National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has found itself in a minority position in the Houses of Parliament and its opponents quite rightly are trying to exploit the situation.

The main opposition New National Party (NNP) and the so-called Rebel MP’s who were expelled from the Congress Government have been clamouring for a resumption of sittings of Parliament in order to discuss the business of the country.

The hypocrisy in that is that Member of Parliament for South St. George, Glynis Roberts, the former Minister of Labour and Tourism is among those calling for Parliament to reconvene so that Members can air their views on the current situation in the country.

This is one MP whose mouth was glued for most of the eight to ten years since she became a Parliamentarian and had virtually become the forgotten woman on the Congress side of the house.

Her behaviour is similar to that of many of the persons now in charge of the Chamber and Hotel associations in the thirteen years of rule of the former New National Party (NNP) government of then Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.

These people were totally silent when Grenadian passports were being sold left, right and centre to all kinds of crooks and con men by the NNP regime.

What was the reaction of the GCIC and GHTA to the VISA requirement imposed by Canada on Grenadians wishing to visit their loved ones and to do business in their country due to Grenada’s flirtation in the offshore banking business?

The private sector bosses in the country seemingly padlocked their mouths when the former government was giving millions of guarantees to questionable foreign investors like E.J Miller who came in with a promise to build a 5-star Ritz Carlton hotel at Mt. Hartman and drew down on the money and fled this jurisdiction.

As a matter of fact, some of those persons making noises in the Chamber helped to facilitate some of the wrong-doing in office of the NNP and loss of millions of dollars whether in the Garden Group of Hotel projects in the south of the island and the Marketing & National Importing Board fiasco along the Lagoon in St. George’s.

The behaviour of some of the elements in the Chamber reminds one of the days of the 1970’s when the business class formed themselves into a so-called Committee of 22 along with others to try and bring down the duly-elected Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) government of then Prime Minister, Eric Gairy.

The sons and daughters of those who feel that Grenada belongs to them and them alone are back at work with one thing in common – to influence the political process with their class interest at heart.

Prime Minister Thomas is not from their class and will never be accepted by them as one worthy to be the leader of the country.

The predecessor, Dr. Mitchell fits the bill as he is prepared to engage in a type of governance that will make money flow into their coffers constantly to top up their bank accounts.

There are too many elements in the Grenada private sector who think of self and not country. It does not matter to some of them that the country’s national debt keeps sky-rocketing and going out of control so long as they get more than their fair share of the little that the nation now has to offer.

The views being expressed by THE NEW TODAY should not be construed as an attack on the entire membership of GCIC and GHTA since some of the businessmen in the country have always demonstrated patriotism and national pride.

And within the private sector itself, it is a dog-eat-dog mentality as some of the members behave like typical crabs in a barrel – always seeking to pull down the one who is seemingly making progress and leaving the delinquent and non-progressive ones behind.

The Government will have to be extremely careful in using scarce taxpayers’ money to engage in any bail-out of some members of the private sector.

The dollars will have to be used to offer a bail-out to most citizens who are struggling and grappling each and every day with the kinds of hardships that are not of their own making but due to the decision-makers in the wealthier industrialised nations in Europe and North America.

Look at the reaction of some of them in the private sector to the incentives package given to Sandals as a worthy partnership for the tremendous marketing that their presence can do to Grenada when it is known that the country by itself cannot afford the level of marketing that is necessary to put the island on the international radar.

Too many in the private sector have not demonstrated signs of changing in the face of the hostile global environment – and can be seen almost each and every passing day at bars drinking Whiskey, River Antoine, Vodka and Babash.

A lot of them in the private sector also need to change their modus operandi from being importers of foreign goods and only engaging in wholesale and retail business for profits but to become real producers in the manufacturing sector especially with local products.

This kind of continued behaviour will never ensure progress and development for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

‘Government has displayed a willingness’

The Government has taken note of a press conference staged by representatives of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) and the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association on Thursday 15th November in which the subject of Government’s support for Manufacturing and Tourism were dealt with.

PM Thomas met with representatives of three of Grenada’s social partners – the Government of Grenada, the Grenada Trades’ Union Council and the Grenada Private Sector Organization in September to discuss the current economic and financial situation

In summary, the claim was made that Government was not extending adequate support to these two sectors. Concern was also raised about lack of new Foreign Direct Investment and the unsatisfactory pace of implementation of projects.

As a public service, and in advance of a full press conference which will be held on Monday 19th November to address these matters, the Government wishes to make it clear that the Manufacturing and Tourism Sectors in Grenada are the beneficiaries of the widest range of special incentives and other support measures put in place by Government.

Here are some of them:

 

(1). No Common External Tariff (CET) is paid on packaging materials, raw materials, spare parts and equipment

 

(2). The maintenance of an import license regime for products competing with locally manufactured goods

 

(3). Exemption of Annual Stamp Tax on exports of manufactured products

 

(4). Income Tax relief under the Grenada Investment Promotions Act

 

(5). Zero Rating of VAT on Exports

 

(6). Exemption of Excise Tax on alcohol to be used as an input into the manufacturing process

 

(7). 10% rebate on VAT exclusive sales to be used to offset any tax arrears except VAT

 

(8). Reduced VAT rate of 10% on accommodation

 

(9). 50% retention of VAT during the off-season (September-November 2010)

 

(10). VAT exemption of Service Charge

 

(11). Most hotels enjoy a tax holiday (accelerated depreciation)

 

It should be noted that all the above facilities preserve the cash flow position of the companies, while the Government foregoes the collection of revenue.

With these incentives Government has given up millions of dollars in revenue; for example the 10% Manufacturers Rebate has resulted in the giving up of over $10 million annually.

In keeping with Government’s commitment to competitiveness, its belief that partnership is an essential pillar of Governance and in recognition of the challenging economic and financial situation facing businesses, Government has endeavoured to maintain a running dialogue with the Private Sector to review the nature and extent of Government support to the Sector, including the reform of the Doing Business environment.

In recognition of the need for common practical solutions to be worked out, the Government and the Private Sector invested a great deal of effort in trying to craft a Social Protocol in 2008-2009.

It is in keeping with this spirit and in recognition of the need for inclusion and collaborative effort that Government has facilitated Private Sector representation in various committees and bodies that have served in an advisory capacity with respect to Public Policy.

Government has held bi-lateral consultations with manufacturers, hoteliers, representatives of the construction sector, small business operators, agro-processors, the banking community, as well as with many professional bodies.

In the period leading to the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT), more than 700 briefing sessions were held by the Inland Revenue Department with Private Sector businesses.

In recent months dialogue has been ongoing between the Manufacturing and Hotel Sectors with regard to the peculiar challenges they face.

Discussions have been facilitated by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Tourism, as well as by a number of public officers. As far as Government is concerned these discussions are ongoing and certainly cannot be resolved at press conferences.

In all cases the Government has displayed a willingness to treat with the problems identified and to continue giving every practical support to these sectors.

Government has also tried to secure an understanding from our partners in the Private Sector of the real fiscal limitations which the country faces, conditions that limit the extent to which Government can give up additional revenue beyond what has already been given up, without further eroding government’s ability to meet its commitments.

Government assures all stakeholders and partners that it will continue to engage with the representatives of the Private Sector and widen the engagement to involve the Small and Micro businesses, which have their own peculiar circumstances.

 

 

 

The following statement was read out by President of the Grenada Chamber of Industry & Commerce, Aine Brathwaite at a press conference held last week Thursday to express concerns about the current economic and financial situation in the country:

 

Part of our role as the Grenada Chamber of Industry & Commerce is to show high levels of sensitivity at all times to the issues that prevail in the Private Sector, not only for our members but businesses as a whole.

GCIC President, Aine Brathwaite: It cannot be about sound-bites and lip service

It is a role that we take very seriously and there is an expectancy that we lead from the front in that respect.

The plight of the Private Sector in the Caribbean, let alone Grenada has never been more unpredictable than it is right now, and unpredictability is not a foundation for growth and does not lend well to Foreign Direct Investment where predictability is a necessary component that the private sector requires for future planning.

Many businesses at present are treading water and many of those will eventually sink, with significant bank and utility arrears, imminent foreclosures, longer credit repayment terms from customers whilst trying to keep employees employed.

This has been the all too familiar story of the past 24 months as we’ve watched business after business fail in an environment where there appears to be little or no evidence of support.

Unemployment is at unacceptable levels and those seeking employment or reemployment have no where to turn.

The recent well publicised demise of La Source – who struggled through the recession – is just one example of the position many of our businesses find themselves in. Thankfully in the case of La Source – Sandals stepped in giving the tourism sector a welcome boost.

We note the speed at which this transaction was completed so we now know that we can with the proper will do things in record time.

With all this uncertainty which has been heightened by us being in an election year, it’s inextricable links to economics and an already depressed investment climate that currently exists, the questions have quite rightly been asked “how did this happen?” “When will it end?” and most importantly “what can we do about it?”

The fact is the “Private Sector” does not operate in a vacuum. It is an integral part of society and a vibrant private sector bolsters a vibrant society. That is why greater levels of understanding and commitment to supporting the private sector is paramount to the well being of the nation.

Currently the Motor Dealers, Manufacturers and Hotel & Tourism sectors have all submitted proposals to the government with recommendations and possible solutions to move the sectors forward during this economic decline. They feel like these proposals have fallen on deaf ears.

The Government in numerous releases/statements refers to the Private Sector as the “Engine of Growth.” Yet, we are witnessing the erosion of the private sector at an unprecedented rate. A situation which cannot be allowed to continue.

It is clear that the government is struggling to meet its projections and commitments as $7m is owed to Manufacturers through rebates, $100m in public debt to the Private sector, increasing unemployment with postponed, stalled or delayed projects and very little hard evidence of anything tangible in the pipeline.

To address these mounting issues the Private Sector requires Government to create and support the infrastructure in which growth and development can take place. The private sector has tightened its belt as far as it can, now we are looking for government to deliver on its promises.

To date, the actual pace of implementation leaves a lot to be desired, causing much frustration in the private sector with the incomplete responses that just leave all of us in limbo.

In our opinion, the key to succeeding is focused, result orientated collaboration between government agencies and the private sector, by collaboration we don’t mean reports and research – which are important and do have their place – we mean “Action,” Positive Action” by the government that can be seen and immediately felt. Not only by the private sector but also by the ultimate beneficiaries, the public at large.

We need a visible plan with time lines and tangible outcomes. We are prepared to share our expertise, our talent in the national interest.

We reiterate that the GCIC is an independent body with no alliance to any political party. It is our role to work hand in hand with the government of the day, to bring attention to the private sector issues that prevail and seek the relevant solutions in an expedient manner.

Government has to play its role in upholding our private sector. It cannot be about sound-bites and lip service. The private sector businesses have made it very clear, that they are tired of the rhetoric and want “Positive action” as stated earlier.

This is about jobs, investment, opportunities and growth for all, this is the path Grenada should be on. For that to take place, government must exercise real time strategies to curtail the serious demise of the Grenadian private sector which continues to spiral downwards and out of control.

The Private Sector is gasping for breath. Presently, we all find ourselves in a reactive rather than proactive mode of operation due to these undesirable dynamics.

The challenge for us all now, is to find the means of genuine collaboration with short-term strategies that give the private sector and the country the kick start needed and deserved.

FLOW teams up with L.A Purcell

FLOW’s Country Manager, Gail Purcell roll’s out the company’s Christmas Promotion

FLOW has great things in store for its new and existing customers this Christmas and Grenadians are being encouraged to “FLOW with us this Christmas”.

The 2012 Christmas Season kicked off with a number of eye-catching goodies as FLOW last week Friday launched its Christmas Promotion – “FLOW with us this Christmas”.

New customers signing up for any FLOW service or existing customers paying their bills on time and in full will qualify to win Grand prizes – an Ultimate Entertainment Set (3-piece) – LG Surround Sound System, a 42” TV, Laptop, Cordless Phone and Sectional Sofa Set.

Customers can also qualify to win weekly prizes such as a Kindle, Shopping Voucher ($100 Value), 3-month FREE Broadband, and 3-month FREE Talk.

By signing up for two or more services, customers can win additional prizes such as a Cooler Bag, a Flash Drive or a Mug.

The promotion was launched last week Friday and FLOW’s Country Manager, Gail Purcell, said that the promotion runs until December 24.

She said that FLOW has teamed up with longstanding company Purcell’s Furniture Store to furnish its grand prizewinners.

L.A. Purcell’s Furniture Store new look

L.A. Purcell’s furniture store recently closed its doors to the public to undertake an upgrade of the facility and on Monday officially re-opened its doors to the public.

The company is one of Grenada’s longest family-owned businesses in existence and was the first to offer Grenadians hire-purchase opportunities at unbeatable rates to meet the needs of the working class.

Longstanding employee, Grace Bain is convinced that the company will continue to serve the public under its well-known themes, “Cash if you have it, Credit if you want it” and “Purcell never take back the raincoat”.

She spoke of the former business owner, Leonard Anthony Purcell, who prided himself as a family oriented businessman.

Ms Bain said that customers have been clamouring for a redo of the store that has served the public since 1938 and that they have listened to them to ensure that their customers continue to shop in comfort and style.

She said that Purcell’s Furniture Store is happy to partner with FLOW this Christmas as they spread the joy during the Christmas Season.

 

Preudhomme ordered to hand back Joshua Thorne property

Lawyers for former deputy Prime Minister, Herbert Preudhomme has filed appeal papers aimed at setting aside a high court judgement in a land transaction involving millions of dollars.
 Preudhomme was able to receive as a gift a lot of land in the Grand Anse area from his one-time friend, the late Joshua Thorne who like the former government minister was a member of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP).
 The transfer of the lands was challenged in court by one of Thorne’s daughter who claimed that her father was not of sound mind when the transaction took place.
 High Court judge, Justice Margaret Price-Findlay ruled against the arguments put forward by defense lawyers – Dr. Francis Alexis and Reynold Benjamin – who appeared on behalf of Preudhomme.
 The team of Ian Sandy, Claudette Joseph and Teddy St. Louis were able to win Round One in the contest. A date is still to be announced for the hearing of the appeal in the case.
 As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces Part 11 of the Price-Findlay ruling, which first appeared in last week’s issue of the newspaper:

I note that there was no evidence that the First Defendant was one of the persons who accompanied Joshua Thorne to the Bank. There is evidence that he took Mr. Thorne to the Bank from George Ferguson.

She further stated that the land her father gifted to the First Defendant was land that he had said he would never get rid of. He made this statement in her presence. She never heard him say that that piece of land was for ‘his partner Herbie’.

Herbert Preudhomme – at the centre of the dispute over the land

When Dr. Herry Thompson saw her father in 2001, she said that there was no treatment for dementia and that she should not allow her father to drive. She admitted that the report of Dr. Herry Thompson dated 2001 does not state that her father was extremely forgetful, that term was used for the first time in the report dated 19th August 2005 from Dr. Herry Thompson.

She also admitted that when Dr. Spencer saw her father in 2005, he used the term ‘short term memory poor’, not extremely forgetful.

She took him to the doctor in 2005 because she intended to institute guardianship proceedings and needed the report for the proceedings.

Dr. Emma Herry Thompson is a medical practitioner in Grenada. She runs the Sea Island Medical Clinic in St. George’s. She specialised in internal medicine and completed her studies in 1987. She practiced in Washington DC, USA, from 1987 to 1988 and from 1993-1997 in Beaufort, South Carolina, and from 1990-1993 she was Medical Director of Magnolia Manor in Georgia, USA.

She testified that as an internist, she is able to discern diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. She knew Joshua Thome, he was her patient. He attended her clinic in May 2001, and on several occasions thereafter.

Her report of her findings dated 19th August, 2005 was before the Court.

She found that Mr. Thome’s short-term memory to be extremely poor and he was suffering from dementia.

During his two visits, that is 15th May and 15th June 2001, she found that he was extremely forgetful and his cognitive functions were impaired.

She opined that the stroke that he had suffered five years previous could have contributed to his forgetfulness since the blood supply to his brain would have been compromised.

She conducted an MMSE test, a universally accepted test to identify cognitive

function impairment associated with dementia.

The land that was once owned by Joshua Thorne

The score of 11 which Mr. Thorne attained placed him in the category of moderate dementia but at the lower end of that scale. Expected decline in un-treated Alzheimer’s patients is 2-4 points per year.

There is no evidence of whether Mr. Thorne ever received any treatment for his condition. Neither Dr. Herry Thompson nor Dr. Spencer testified as to prescribing or administering any treatment to Mr. Thome.

She goes on to testify that using the lower end of the scale that by 2004 he would have had a score of 5 and using the higher end a score of -1. Both scores would have placed him in the severe dementia category, in a condition whereby he would have no appreciation of what he was doing.

In her opinion, it is highly improbable that in 2001 someone at Mr. Thorne’s level of mental impairment could have understood the nature and effect of the Deed of Gift which gave the property in question to the First Defendant, far less in 2004.

Having looked at the Certificate of Independent Legal Advice, 22, 27 January 2004, she opined that it is highly improbable that someone at the lever of mental impairment at which Mr. Thorne was in 2001 could have understood the nature and effect of the legal advice given to him.

She further opined that it was highly improbable that Mr. Thorne could have understood or appreciated the nature and content of the Deed of Gift he executed on 27th January 2004. His cognitive functions being impaired in 2001 would not have improved in January 2004.

In cross-examination she said that the August 2005 report exhibited is a summary of the records she had in her office relating to Mr. Thorne. The summary was prepared after the fact.

She admitted that she had not exhibited any documents prior to August 2005 which stated that Mr. Thorne was extremely forgetful.

The 2005 report was done to establish Mr. Thorne’s competence. His daughter asked for the report with respect to a land transaction.

She recalled on one of the visits to her clinic telling the Claimant that systems should be put in place to ensure Mr. Thorne’s nutritional needs were met, and to avoid exploitation. This is advice she gives Alzheimer’S patients or those with dementia.

Alzheimer’s is a form of cognitive impairment and is treatable to an extent. But before she could recommend treatment she has to be convinced that the benefits would outweigh the risks.

She was not told that the report she produced was to be used in court proceedings, she only realised that sometime later. She was frustrated when the attorney came to her office. It was then that she realised that it was a litigious process.

She further states that it was not unusual for a doctor to take one view of the mental condition of a patient and a layperson to have the opposite view.

The next witness was George Ferguson. He is the son of Joshua Thorne. He testified that he and his father had a good relationship. He would take him for drives and he visited him daily but he did not live with him.

He took care of his father’s land around the home where Mr. Thorne lived, which comprised of approximately 5 acres. After the death of his father’s wife in 2001, he noticed that his father was getting increasingly forgetful. He would forget the day, the time, or where he was. He would speak to persons and then ask who they were.

After 2001, his father could hardly recall anything at all. Both Dr. Spencer and Dr. Herry Thompson saw him as a result of his condition. Both determined that he was suffering from senile dementia.

In 2005 he became aware that his father had transferred lands to the Defendants and that they were using the land to obtain a sizeable loan. After inquiring he realised that his father had been signing legal documents and giving his property to other people.

He told the Claimant what he had discovered. She confirmed what she had been told. His father had transferred 1 acre 1 Rood and 16 poles of land to the Defendants. It was valued at EC$2,OOO,OOO.00.

The First Defendant and his father were friends, and members of the same political party. The First Defendant was a frequent visitor to his father’s home and spent lots of time with his father. His father placed trust and confidence in the First Defendant.

The First Defendant would take his father to the beach, the bank, the doctor and to cash his treasury bonds. He observed that his father would sign blank cheques at the direction of the First Defendant to pay bills and purchase groceries. The First Defendant would write the cheques and his father would sign them.

He admitted that his father paid him for the work he did on his father’s land. The First Defendant would come on Fridays and make out the cheques. His father would tell the Defendant what amount to write.

He said that the First Defendant stopped visiting his father in late 2004 but admitted that due to Hurricane Ivan his father had to move from his home. After the hurricane his father stayed at the Wave Crest so that it was impossible for the First Defendant to visit his father at home. His father then went to stay at South Winds.

The First Defendant visited Mr. Thorne at Wave Crest 3-4 days per week. He knew that the First Defendant took his father to the doctor in 2001 with his caretaker, Ms. Banfield. He went once with his father to Dr. Herry Thompson and that was in 2004.

He stated that it was the First Defendant and the caretaker/companion Ms. Banfield who usually took his father to the doctor. He did not know why his father was taken to Dr. Thompson for in 2001. He knew his father to have a heart condition but he never asked why he was taken to the doctor.

He brought Dr. Spencer to see his father in 2005, this was the first time Dr. Spencer saw his father as far as he knew. Dr. Evelyn Spencer, the House Officer at Mt. Gay Psychiatric Hospital. also gave evidence.

He has been attached to the Mt. Gay faculty for 10 years and had been practising medicine for 13 years at the time of his witness statement.

He has done several short courses both regionally and internationally in the field of Psychiatry. For the previous 10 years he has practiced almost exclusively in that area.

He saw Mr. Thorne in late 2004 at the Wave Crest apartments. He was brought to see him by his son, George Ferguson. Having observed Mr. Thorne he formed the opinion that he was demented. He found him extremely forgetful and within minutes would forget what was said to him. He opined that his cognitive functions were much depressed.

He knew Joshua Thorne as a boy growing up as an astute, quick-witted man, a politician. What he saw in late 2004 was a shadow of the man he once knew. His mental capacity was severely impaired

He again saw Mr. Thorne in 2005 in September, and he conducted a mental status examination. He found him oriented only to person but not place or time. His short-term memory was poor and he could not recall his (Dr. Spencer’s) name even though they were introduced and his name was repeated twice during the time he was there.

He failed the Serial 7’s test and his powers of registration and recall were decreased. He formed the opinion that Mr. Thorne was suffering from

senile dementia, which is a form of brain disorder characterised by progressive and irreversible mental deterioration.

Mr. Thorne could not do a complete mental state examination. Mr. Thorne would have been suffering with the disease for a number of years prior to his examination.

In his professional opinion, Mr. Thorne, at the time of the execution of the Deed of Gift, would not have been able to understand the nature and content of the document which he executed.

He further opined that Mr. Thorne would not have possessed the necessary cognitive skills to make any informed decision relative to the Deed of Gift.

At the September 2005 visit Mr. Thorne did not recognise his daughter, his son-in-law or his sister, all of whom were present. Mr. Thorne would not have been able to understand the Certificate of Legal Advice even if it had been read and re-read to him. Mr. Thorne could hear the Deed being read to him but that is all.

If Mr. Thorne’s power of registration and recall was zero as he opined, it would have been at the time, he could not have really understood and processed in his mind what was being asked of him.

Mr. Thorne would not have understood the consequences of giving away his property by Deed of Gift. He shared Dr. Thompson’s opinion of the effect of the stroke on Mr. Thorne’s cognitive function.

In cross-examination, he admitted that we all have memory lapses. He saw Mr. Thorne for about half an hour at the Wave Crest Hotel and this is the only time he spent with Mr. Thorne professionally, and that he was comfortable to conclude what he testified to after spending that time with Mr. Thorne.

He testified that he was of the view that the memory loss would take about 3-4 years to develop. He felt that Mr. Thorne’s memory loss started in or about 2000-2001. He did not think that in 2001 Mr. Thome could have understood legal documents.

He looked at several documents executed by Mr. Thorne dated between 2001-2003 and gave the opinion that various attestation clauses on these documents could not be true based on his assessment of Mr. Thorne.

He admitted that he had made a psychiatric assessment of Mr. Thorne even though he is not a psychiatrist. He opined that when Mr. Thorne went to the Bank with his daughter the Claimant in September/October 2004. Mr. Thorne could

not have known what he was doing.

He agreed with Dr. Thompson that medical practitioners say persons are forgetful but lay-persons see it differently. In cases such as these he would say that the lay people are wrong. A lay person can reasonably take a different view of the mental capacity of a person to that of a lay person.

He admitted that he took notes of his visits with Mr. Thorne but said it was unfortunate that he did not have those notes with him to present to the Court.

He did not recommend that Mr. Thorne be admitted to a psychiatric facility in 2004 because he saw no need for urgent treatment at that time. He also testified that it would have been reasonable for both the Deputy Registrar and Mr. Stewart and others to say that Mr. Thorne looked alright to them.

There were certain aspects which one would aim to identify when doing an assessment

(a). The person’s short-term memory

(b). Their ability to register and recall new information

(c). The ability to organise and plan

 

He also testified that despite his cognitive deterioration Mr. Thorne would probably have had lucid moments.

The Defendants called two witnesses, the First Defendant and Mr. Nigel Stewart, the attorney who gave Mr. Thorne the independent legal advice with respect to the Deed of Gift in question.

Mr. Herbert Preudhomme testified that he met Joshua Thorne in1943 and they became very good friends and remained so until Joshua Thorne’s death. This fact is not disputed.

At the time they first met Mr. Preudhomme was better off financially than Thome. Preudhornme stated that he was very generous to Thorne and his other friends. He sponsored a party for Thorne’s birthday in 1944. Shortly after this, Thorne took Preudhomme to live with him at Thorne’s sister’s home, after Preudhomme had been in a serious accident.

Preudhomme later went to the hospital for 6 months and Thorne visited him and cut his hair. The relationship continued, and over the years the two men exchanged favours and kindness between themselves.

In 1958, Preudhomme entered the political arena, and Thorne, who had by then married, assisted him in his campaigns. Preudhomme was a successful politician and was a Member of Parliament from 1958-1979 when events took over Grenada and his days as a parliamentarian came to an end.

Preudhomme was a Minister of Government holding various portfolios and was Deputy Prime Minister at some point. While a Minister, Preudhomme introduced Thorne to one D.B. Cromwell who was the Managing Director of Grand Anse EstatesLimited, and recommended that Thorne be made a director of the said company.

As a result of this directorship, Thorne was able to become the owner of lands forming part of the Grand Anse Estate. He testified that over the years Thorne expressed gratitude to him for introducing him to the Company (Grand Anse Estates Ltd.)and promised to give Preudhomme a piece of land.

He testified that Thorne suffered a stroke in 1986/1987, and that he took him to a clinic in Venezuela, and upon his return to Grenada he took him to the beach regularly. He also, at Thorne’s request accompanied him to the Miami Memorial Hospital for treatment to his eyes.

He said he accompanied Thorne to the doctor here in Grenada on several occasions at Thorne’s request. He also assisted him with his banking business and any other transaction in which Thorne sought his assistance. He insisted that he acted on Thorne’s direction and did not exercise any independent judgment or discretion in doing so.

In January 2004, on Thorne’s instructions, he took him to the office of Ovid Gill, Thorne’s lawyer because he wanted to fulfill his promise to transfer a piece of the land at Grand Anse to Preudhomme.

Preudhomme did as he was asked and Thorne gave Gill the instructions to prepare the conveyance. I pause here to note that there is no evidence before the Court to suggest that Ovid Gill was ever the lawyer for or had ever acted on behalf of Mr. Preudhomme.

Mr. Gill had acted for Thorne prior to January 2004, he had made Thorne’s will and acodicil. Mr. Gill advised Thorne that he should get independent legal advice prior to executing the Deed of Gift in favour of Preudhomme. Mr. Gill suggested someone from the firm of Renwick &Payne.

Mr. Thorne instructed the clerk to call Mr. Stewart from Renwick and Payne. Mr. Stewart came to the office of Ovid Gill and spoke to Thorne there. He could see Mr. Stewart and Thorne speaking and that is when he came to know that Mr. Stewart was advising Thorne.

The conversation took place away from him somewhere in Mr. Gill’s office. He could not hear what was being said. He further testified that to his knowledge Mr. Nigel Stewart spoke to Mr. Thorne and advised him on the matter.

He testified that at the time Thorne executed the Deed of Gift on 24th January 2004, he was aware of what he was doing and he fully understood the nature and effect of his act. Thorne had acted voluntary and was merely fulfilling the promise he had made to Preudhomme all those years ago.

In cross-examination he went on to testify that he visited Thorne regularly over the years and he knew the members of the household, including Jeselle Thorne, Thorne’s adopted daughter. He admitted that Jeselle would have been a good witness as to Thorne’s condition over the years but he did not get a witness statement from her.

He reiterated that Thorne had promised him land over 25 years prior to him doing so. He said he did not know why Thorne waited so long before doing so. He said that Thorne was a man who did what he wanted, no one dictated to Thorne what he should do.

He did not know that Thorne only came to own the land he gave him by the Deed of Gift in 2000. He knew Thorne owned lands in Grand Anse because Thorne and D.B. Cromwell were members of the Grand Anse Co-op Farm Ltd.

He admitted that he had failed to mention this entity in his witness statement. He insisted that the Deed of Gift was made by Mr. Gill on Thorne’s instruction. He said he knew Mr. Gill as a lawyer practicing in Grenada.

Thorne and he were very good friends for many years. They did things for each other whenever Thorne asked him to do something he would do it, whether it was taking him to the doctor or to the Bank.

He testified that Thorne trusted and confided in him. Thorne asked him to write out cheques for him and he did so, but Thorne not he signed them. He denied assisting Thorne to fill out withdrawal slips at the bank.

He readily admitted to visiting Thorne more regularly after Thorne’s wife Alma died in 2000. His friend was alone, he went to see him and keep him company.

He recalled seeing the Claimant at Thorne’s home after 2001, but he could not recall when he first met her. He would visit Thorne at least once a week, but if Thorne needed him and called for him he would go.

He knew Ivy Banfield, she was Thorne’s caretaker. She would sometimes call him to come to see Thorne. Between 2000-2001, he would accompany Thorne for his visits to the doctor. Thorne was seeing Dr. Herry Thompson and Dr. Noel at the time. Dr. Noel was the heart doctor.

(To be continued)

Karl Hood takes NDC to Court

One of the ten expelled members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Karl Hood is seeking a court order to get the nod to be the party’s candidate in the upcoming general elections.

Hood who won the St. George’s South East Constituency in the 2008 General Elections has filed an order in the Supreme Court to restrain the NDC hierarchy members – Political Leader and Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, Deputy Political Leader, Nazim Burke, Chairman Senator Franka Bernadine, Deputy Chairman, Kent Joseph, and NDC General Secretary, Bernard Isaac from taking any action aimed at preventing him from participating in the activities of Congress.

The former Government Minister is also seeking to have the court restrain the NDC from replacing him as the candidate for St. George South East.

In his own affidavit filed before the court, Hood charges that, “as a member of the party I have a right to participate in any upcoming general elections for the House of Representative as part of the NDC team, once I am so selected by the qualified persons in the Constituency of St George South East.

“The unconstitutional action taken at the Convention to purportedly revoke my membership of the NDC has deprived me of that right”, he told the court.

Earlier in the year, the born again Christian who is a pastor of a local evangelical church, resigned as Foreign based on what he defined as dissatisfaction with the leadership of the government and in particular Prime Minister Thomas.

The NDC has since identified Tourist Service Provider, Randal Robinson as the person to replace Hood as its candidate for the constituency in the elections due in 2013.

Hood along with former Tourism Minister Peter David, former Works Minister Joseph Gilbert, and former Labour Minister Glynis Roberts were expelled during the party’s convention that took place at Telescope, St. Andrew’s on September 30.

The other members who were expelled are former Senator Arley Gill, Michael Church, Kenrick Fullerton, Senator Chester Humphrey, Siddiqui Sylvester, and Stanford Simon,

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Karl Hood – has interest in contesting elections on an NDC Ticket

The restraining Order against the Prime Minister and others was filed by Hood’s brother, attorney-at-law, Cajeton Hood and sought the following reliefs:

 

(1). The Defendants and each of them whether by themselves by themselves, their agents, servants and successors or otherwise with immediate effect be restrained from taking any action whatsoever or however styled aimed at preventing or otherwise impending the participation of the Claimant in the activities and processes of the NDC (National Democratic Congress) pursuant to the decision communicated to the Claimants by letter dated October 4, 2012 until further or other order of the court.

 

(2). The Defendants and each of them whether by themselves, their agents and successors or otherwise with immediate effect be restrained from taking any action whatsoever or howsoever styled in the name of the NDC aimed at selecting, announcing, registering or otherwise identifying any candidate for any upcoming parliamentary elections for the Constituency of St. George South East until further or other order of the Court.

 

As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces in full the affidavit of Hood in support of his move to prevent Congress from overlooking him as its candidate for the constituency:

 

I, Ignatius Karl Hood, of Bailes Bacolet in the parish of St. David and state of Grenada Make an OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:

 

1. I am the Applicant/Claimant in this action and I make this affidavit in support of the application made herein on my behalf against the Respondents/Defendants for injunction and other relief.

 

2. The matters set out below are within my personal knowledge and are true, except where I indicate to the contrary, in which case they are true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.

 

 

3. I have been a member of the National Democratic Congress (hereinafter referred to as “the party) since 1989. I was invited to be a member by Mrs. Joan Purcell who asked me to be a candidate for the St. George North West constituency in the 1990 general elections. I accepted the invitation and became a member. I have since these recent events been able to obtain a true copy of the constitution of the party but despite diligent enquiries by myself and several other persons on my behalf I have been unable to locate a copy of any articles of association or other document attesting to the formation of the party.

 

4. I subsequently contested the seat although I never asked for, nor was I offered any finance to conduct that campaign. I did it as a matter of conscience as I considered it to be the correct thing to do at the time. I was unsuccessful in the general elections of 1990 and after the elections I did not lobby for any place in the administration, which was formed by the party.

All that I was offered was to be the personal assistant to Prime Minister Brathwaite, which I refused. I subsequently traveled to the United States of America where I spent almost 5 years, the length of the term of the party in office.

 

5. I returned to Grenada in December of 1994 and I was approached by Mr. Jerome Joseph to be a candidate again. I refused to do so because I did not think then, that enough was done to warrant my further sacrifice for the party. I rather devoted my time to the services of my church and become Pastor of The People’s Church St Paul’s in August 1995.

I remained a member of the party and confirmed my membership of the party in 2003 when asked to do so by the party through Mr. Cheney Joseph, an officer of the party. I remained committed to the party and spoke often times with Mr. George Prime as I gave him copies of what I was doing, the articles that I was writing and shared my thoughts as to the direction of the party.

 

6. I was again approached in 2006 to take part in the upcoming elections of 2008. I resisted because I was doing work on the church building and did not want to abandon it. I was again approached in 2007 by Mr. Peter David to accept the nomination as the candidate for the constituency of St George South East as a member of the National Democratic Congress team in the elections of 2008.

The financial support that was promised me never materialised and so I had to again find monies to contest the elections. This I successfully did and won the seat as a loyal member of the party. I resigned my post as Pastor of the People’s Church to devote myself to the work that I was obligated to do as a Member of the Lower House Parliament (Hereinafter referred to as “the House”), a member of Cabinet and a loyal supporter of the party.

Even that I was always a supporter and member of the party, as Pastor, I did not openly show support because persons from both political persuasions were members of my congregation. As I subsequently reiterated in Parliament, I was not prepared to follow a line just because it is a party line; I was committed to following my conscience and the truth.

 

7. The years in Government were filled with disappointments. I pleaded with the Prime Minister, the First Respondent and the Cabinet, for us to find a common ground, to find the time and space to speak plainly, man to man, so that we can find answers to the difficulties we were facing.

I complained because of the lack of support that I was receiving and begged that we should stay together and fight together for the sake of the people whose voices we represent. My pleas fell on deaf ears. I again spoke to the Prime Minister, the First Respondent, about the problems we were causing to our country’s diplomatic efforts; this also fell on deaf ears.

 

8. I saw myself as being undermined by the same government that I had sacrificed to put into office. It is because of this that I decided to resign from my post as Minister for Foreign Affairs. My intent was not to bring down the administration but to remove myself from that which affected me. I was shocked at the way that I was treated subsequently. I have never ceased to be a member of the party nor did I ask to withdraw membership of the party.

 

9. I was again shocked when, after I voted against a bill, I was villified by the First Respondent (PM Thomas), and other members of the party. I responded by saying that I had no confidence in an administration that would treat its own that way. It was in this context that I filed the motion of no confidence. I said publicly that my intent was still not to see the Government fall but, like other democracies, allow for the First Respondent to step down and someone else take the leadership for the rest of the term. In all of this, I did not withdraw my membership or ask to be excused from the party. I have had problems with the way the Government is run but maintained my membership with the party.

 

 

10. After my resignation as a minister and member of Cabinet I again began to devote more time to my Christian duties and my work as the parliamentary representative for St George South East. At the time there was much debate about the date for the NDC convention and when the date of the convention on September 30, 2012 was announced (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”) I was already committed to attend our church’s convention previously scheduled for that Sunday. As a result of the above I was unable to attend the Convention.

 

11. On the evening of September 30, 2012, I was surprised and embarrassed by the announcement in the public media that at the start of the Convention a resolution had been passed to revoke my rights as a member of the NDC along with other named persons. I was even more taken aback in light of what transpired in the previous convention.

 

 

12. In the convention of 2011, a move was made to expel Member of Parliament, Michael Church, from the party. A resolution was brought to the floor which seemed to have much support. I spoke up against it and warned the convention that, as the convention was the ‘court of appeal’ in our constitution, it could not be the executioner or the one to carry out discipline.

I pointed out that the Disciplinary Committee was the place for that so that Mr. Church would be able to have a right to appeal to the convention if he felt aggrieved by their decision. My argument was accepted and the resolution was sent to the Disciplinary Committee.

 

13. The very points about the right to a hearing and the right of appeal were raised in a letter dated October2, 2012 to the General Secretary of the Party by counsel, Cajeton Hood on behalf of all members of the party who purportedly had their membership to the party revoked during the party convention on September 30, 2012.

 

14. The General Secretary of the party responded in a letter dated October 4, 2012 simply confirming that the basis of the purported revocation was the passing of a resolution to that effect at the Annual Convention of the party held on September 30, 2012.

 

15. Since the purported revocation of my membership of the party I have been able to obtain a copy of the resolution that was presented at the annual Convention of the party held on September 30, 2012 to support the revocation of my membership of the party. I am very disturbed to find in the resolution the following statements which by implication and/or otherwise are very untrue with respect to me and I consider them to be highly defamatory, namely that:

 

(i). I have been party to public displays of hostility towards the political leader;

 

(ii). I was engaged in a power struggle to oust the Prime Minister;

 

(iii). My conduct has damaged the interests of the party and adversely affected its good name.

 

None of the allegations which appear to have caused the convention to move the revocation of my membership of the party is true and I believe that the move to have me expelled was done with malicious intent.

 

16. A true copy of the amended resolution which was submitted at the convention of the party on September 30, 2012 to justify the revocation of my membership is hereto attached and marked as “IKH3”. In the said resolution the party clearly acknowledges the need to provide me and the other members whose membership was being considered with the following:

 

(i). Details of any formal complaint(s) and allegations;

 

(ii). Details of any evidence depended upon to establish the complaints or allegations;

 

(iii). An opportunity to be heard and to make representations on my behalf or have representations made on my behalf.

 

The resolution also acknowledges the need to have the imposition of an appropriate sanction after due process has been followed.

 

17. It is clear that the resolution sets out or recommends a disciplinary sanction against me and other unnamed members of the party at section 17 and prescribes a process which sets out the following steps, namely:

 

(i). Investigation by the Disciplinary Committee of the party;

 

(ii). Report to the National Executive Council;

 

(iii). Decision on the appropriate sanction by the National Executive Council;

 

(iv). Right of Appeal to the General Council;

 

(v). Further right of appeal tot he Party Convention.

 

(18). Further, the constitution obliges the Disciplinary Committee, the National Executive Council, the General Council and the Party Convention to give each accused person an opportunity to be heard and entities the accused person to representation by counsel at his own expense.

 

(19). None of the procedures that have been outlined in the constitution of the party have been followed. It is clear also that there has been no effort to amend the constitution of the party since the provisions of section 22 of the constitution of the party have not been invoked.

 

(20). The resolution seeks to justify the unconstitutional conduct of the party by suggesting that elections are imminent and this is one of the very reasons why I have filed this action and make this application for an injunction.

 

(21). As a member of the NDC I have a right to be selected as an officer of the NDC. The decision to purportedly revoke my rights as a member of the NDC effectively prevented me from being considered for selection as an officer of the party. I am of the view that the reason why the resolution to revoke the membership of me and other persons was to prevent us from being considered for selection as officers of the NDC.

 

(22). As a member of the party I have a right to participate in any upcoming general elections for the House of Representative as part of the NDC team, once I am so selected by the qualified persons in the Constituency of St George South East. The unconstitutional action taken at the Convention to purportedly revoke my membership of the NDC has deprived me of that right.

 

(23). I am desirous of contesting any upcoming parliamentary elections as part of the NDC as I believe that I have much to offer to my party and my country in the role of a member of the House. I am informed by members of the Constituency of St. George South East which I now represent, and I verily believe, that without any notice to the presently serving executive of the constituency or myself a process of selecting another person to contest upcoming parliamentary elections for the constituency of St. George South East on behalf of the NDC was completed.

 

(24). In the above premises, I fear that, unless is restrained by this Honourable Court, the party will proceed to “imminent” general elections while denying me of the right to so participate in keeping with the constitution of the party.

 

(25). In the premises I pray for the interim relief sought in the Application and Draft Order which have been filed with this Affidavit