Garvey Louison Defeats PM Keith Mitchell in Court

Accountant Garvey Louison (r) with his Barbadian lawyer Sean Lewis (l) on the precincts of the high court

Accountant Garvey Louison (r) with his Barbadian lawyer Sean Lewis (l) on the precincts of the high court

An elated Garvey Louison feels that high court judge, Justice Margaret Mohammed vindicated him on Monday in the face of attacks on his integrity as an Accountant by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The judge ruled in favour of Louison in a case in which Dr. Mitchell was seeking to remove him as the court-appointed Liquidator in the winding up of the now defunct GRENADA TODAY newspaper.
“ I feel exonerated in the face of these serious accusations that were  leveled against me. I was accused of being unprofessional, bias, lacking enthusiasm and generally not pursuing the matter (of the Liquidation) with vigour”, said Louison in reference to remarks made against his professional integrity by PM Mitchell.
According to Louison, the accusations by PM Mitchell “are not true at all” and if he had allowed them to go unchallenged they would have go directly at “the heart of my professional integrity”.
The qualified Accountant who once served as Accountant-General and PS in the Ministry of Finance secured the services of Barbadian Attorney, Sean Lewis to defeat local barrister-at-law, Venescia Francis-Banfield who was retained by PM Mitchell.
Justice Mohammed also awarded Louison cost of $2000. 00 against Dr. Mitchell and ruled that the Grenadian leader presented no evidence before the court “to satisfy me of misconduct or wrongdoing on the part of the Liquidator…”.
As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces some of the main aspects of the decision as handed down by Justice Mohammed.

Before the Court is an application (“the Application”) to remove the Court-appointed liquidator, Mr. Garvey Louison (“the Liquidator”) forthwith; to replace him with Mr. Rupert Agostini and for the Liquidator to submit and file into Court an audited report of his accounts and/or a report of the assets of Grenada Today Limited (“the Company”).

The facts which give rise to the Application are on: 19th October, 2005 the Petitioner (Keith Mitchell) filed a petition to wind-up the company on the basis that it owed the Applicant the sum of $191,000.00 pursuant to an award of damages made in High Court action GDAHCV 2001/0333.  The Company was ordered to be wound up by Henry J on 27th October 2009 and the Liquidator, whose name was put forward by the Petitioner, was appointed by the Court and he was directed to exercise all his powers pursuant to the Companies Act (“the Companies Act”).

The grounds for the Application are:

(a). the Liquidator has failed to comply with his duties pursuant to the companies Act;

(b). there has been undue delay by the Liquidator to gather and account for the assets of the company;

(c). the Liquidator has failed to indicate to the Petitioner the location of the liquid assets of the company;

(d). the Liquidator has lost interest in the matter since he has failed to communicate with attorneys for the Petitioner and to attend Court; and

(e). the Petitioner desires to bring the liquidation to an end and to receive monies due and owing to him

The Liquidator has opposed the Application and has asked the Court to strike it out for the following reasons:

(a). there is no evidence from the Petitioner in support of the Application;

(b). he has complied with his duties set out in the Companies Act; and

(c). he has not lost interest and has vigorously pursued the matter.

The issues which arise for determination are:

(a). What is the test in law to remove the Liquidator?

(b). Does the Deponent have standing to make the Application to remove the Liquidator?

(c). Has the Deponent (a legal Secretary who filed an affidavit on behalf of the Petitioner) shown due cause?

(d). Should the Liquidator be removed?

It seems to me that in this jurisdiction, any person who moves the Court to have a Court-appointed Liquidator removed must establish that he/she is a proper person to make such an application and he/she must adduce evidence to persuade the Court that there are good grounds to exercise its discretion to remove liquidator.

It is undisputed that the Petitioner (Keith Mitchell) has not filed an affidavit in support of the Application. It is therefore necessary that the Court examines the principal affidavit and the supplement affidavit filed in support of the Application to determine if the Deponent has established a legitimate interest in the relief sought

In the principal affidavit and the supplemental affidavit the Deponent has made the following against the Liquidator namely:

(a). that since the date of the Liquidator’s appointment he has failed to comply with his duties under the Companies Act:

(b). that the only work the Liquidator has done since his appointment in 2009 was to cause an application to be filed on the 13th July 2011 seeking an order to summon various persons whom he believed were capable of giving evidence and/or to produce documents in their custody  relating to their employment with the Company, on its affairs, list of assets and/or accounts receivables and financials of the Company;

(c). that since July 2011 the Liquidator has lost interest in the matter and was the sole cause of the undue delay experienced;

(d). she knows that Counsel (Francis-Banfield) has made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the Liquidator by telephone

(e). the liquidator failed to attend Court on the 18th of September 2013

(f). the Liquidator failed to respond to correspondences and telephone calls; and

(g). the Liquidator and his staff made certain statements and gave certain assurances.

For each allegation, which was not within her direct knowledge, the Deponent failed to set out who informed her/or what was the source of her information and belief for making the aforesaid allegations. Even with respect to the allegation of delay, she failed to set out details of such delay.

The Deponent has also made the following allegations based on the Petitioner’s belief:

(a). that the Petitioner fears that the assets of the Company may be dissipated;

(b). that the Petitioner fears that he will not be able to enjoy the fruits of his labour

(c). that the Petitioner is asking the Court to make an order to remove the Liquidator

However, again the Deponent fails to provide the basis for such allegations such as who and/or what informed her knowledge information and/or belief for making such statements.

In the Principal affidavit and the supplemental affidavit the Deponent states that she is a legal secretary. In paragraphs 3-6 and 8 of the supplemental affidavit she refers to being “informed by Counsel” but she fails to state her place of employment or whether she is employed by the Petitioner, a Law Chambers or otherwise.

She fails to depose her authority for swearing the Principal affidavit and supplemental affidavit. Indeed there is no evidence that she is authorised to swearing the principal affidavit and supplemental affidavit on behalf of the Petitioner or any other person in support of the application.

She does not even provide a reason to account for the failure by the Petitioner to file an affidavit in support of the Application.

The Application before the Court is not procedural but is for a final order to remove the Liquidator which has significant implications for the reputation of the Liquidator.

In my view, the Deponent has failed to comply with the requirements of CPR 30.3. At best the information contained in the principal affidavit and supplemental affidavits are allegations and is not in the Court’s view evidence in support of the Application.

Further, the Liquidator has even refuted the aforesaid allegations made by the Deponent. The Liquidator has stated that upon appointment he commenced control of the company in October 2009.

He corresponded with Mr. George Worme, the then Managing Director of the Company on the 2nd November 2009 seeking all relevant information. He examined the Statement of Affairs delivered to him on or about the 27th November 2009 by Mr. Worme, in accordance with section 389 of the Companies Act.

The Liquidator has also stated that he conducted further investigations in respect of the assets of the Company in November 2009 by interviewing former employees such as Ms. Jose Joseph, an Administrative Assistant at the Company.

He requested specific information relating to the affairs of the Company. He examined statements relating to the Company’s National Insurance payments and liabilities. He attended Court and applied for and obtained orders made on 11th December 2009 that Mr. Worme deliver to the Liquidator a Statement of Affairs and list of all assets held by the Company within 10 days.

He attended Court and applied for and obtained a further Order vesting all or any property, real or otherwise of the Company in his possession. He published a report giving notice to the Creditors of the Company, including the Petitioner, of the cash of the Company and identifying the liabilities of the company as at 21st December 2009.

He also caused witness summonses to be issued summoning certain former staff members to Court for them to be examined under section 420 of the Companies act.

He stated that the only time he has failed to attend Court was when neither he nor his attorney was notified by the Supreme Court Registry of the hearing of the 18th September 2013.

He denies appointing Mrs. Francis-Banfield as his legal representative in this matter and that he changed his business address. He states that his address was and remains True Blue, St George’s, Grenada.

According to Court’s records. Mrs Francis-Banfield’s notice filed on 23rd April 2013 states that she replaced Justis Chambers, who were the attorneys on the record for the Liquidator, yet at the hearing of the witness summons on 18th September, 2013 she announced that she was appearing for the Petitioner, although she was the attorney who issued the witness summons filed on the 23rd April, 2013, as Counsel of the Kiquidator.

As such the affidavit of service for the said witness summonses were for the persons who were summoned to attend Court and quite reasonably there was no evidence of the Registry notifying the Liquidator since according to the Court’s records Mrs. Francis-Banfield was the attorney on record for the Liquidator.

In light of his confusion, I accept the Liquidator’s reasons for his failure to attend Court on the 18th September 2013 and I do not find that this is an act which demonstrates a lack of interest on his part.

The Liquidator has denied any delay on his part. He stated that between October 2009 and July 2011 he was conducting interviews and compiling information on the status of the assets and liabilities of the Company.

He states that on 20th January 2012 he attended Court with respect to an application to have the Court examine certain parties under oath, and it was only in March 2012 upon receipt of the perfected order he was able to issue the summons for persons to attend Court to be examined.

He stated that the persons, who have been summoned although not examined as yet, are aware of their obligations to return to Court.

In light of the Liquidator’s evidence, the allegations made by the Deponent in the principal affidavit and supplemental affidavit have been refuted by the Liquidator and are baseless.

I therefore agree with the Liquidator that the Deponent has failed to adduce evidence to establish that she has a legitimate interest in the relief sought and as such I find that she has no locus standi in seeking the reliefs in the Application.

In light of the Liquidator’s evidence which has been already set out aforesaid, I find that this is not a case where the Liquidator has done virtually nothing….

In my view the Liquidator has not been unprofessional, biased or dishonest. There has also been no evidence to satisfy me of misconduct or wrongdoing on the part of the Liquidator, and he has not adopted a relaxed or complacent attitude in pursuing the liquidation.

In hindsight there may be some criticisms which may be leveled against him such as contents of his reports, but when one looks at the totality of the evidence it would be unfair to the Liquidator and unnecessary, expensive and disruptive to remove the Liquidator. I can find no reason to remove him for due cause.

The Application is dismissed. The Petitioner to pay the Liquidator the costs of the Application assessed in the sum of EC $2,000.00.

Major Diplomatic Embarrassment…China snubs Foreign Minister Steele

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The two diplomatic notes about China's rejection of the proposed appointment of diplomats to serve Grenada in Hong Kong

The two diplomatic notes about China’s rejection of the proposed appointment of diplomats to serve Grenada in Hong Kong

China has rejected the person nominated by Grenada to serve as its Honorary Consul to Hong Kong, as well as three other persons submitted for consideration by Beijing for diplomatic appointments.
 THE NEW TODAY has obtained confidential diplomatic notes sent by the Chinese to St. George’s in which they snubbed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nicholas Steele who was seeking to get the Chinese to appoint the four persons with Far Eastern surnames.
 The diplomatic notes showed that Minister Steele made a serious blunder in seeking the blessings of the Chinese to appoint the persons to serve as Grenadian diplomats in Hong Kong which is administered politically by the Mainland.
 The four were identified as Yanxia Cao as Honorary Consul, Nancy Yunlin Wei as Deputy Honorary Consul and two Ambassadors-at-large – Xiaoguang Yang and Pen-Chung Wang.
 During a sitting of the Senate on April 4, the Leader of Government Business, Kenny Lalsingh in answer to a question posed by Opposition Senator, Dr. George Vincent had released the names of the new Grenada diplomatic appointments to serve in Hong Kong.
 However, the documents in the possession of THE NEW TODAY indicate that Minister Steele committed a major error when he misdirected his letter seeking the four appointment by sending it directly to the authorities in Hong Kong.

The authority wrote back to the senior government minister in Grenada advising him that he should not address them on this particular issue but it was one to be handled directly by the Chinese government on the Mainland.
The source spoke of Beijing being eventually contacted by the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese wrote back rejecting the four nominees.
The letter from Beijing pointed out to Minister Steele that Mr. Cao would not be appointed by China to serve as Grenada’s Honorary Consul to Hong Kong since the individual was not even living in Hong Kong which amounted to a breach of diplomatic norms.
Minister Steele was told bluntly by the Chinese to put forward another name that was suitable for consideration.
The Chinese also informed the local Foreign Minister that the other three appointments being sought would violate the 2006 protocol agreement signed between the two countries in 2006 when they established ties at the expense of Taiwan which was dumped by a former Mitchell government.
The China/Grenada agreement specifically addressed the number of persons to be accredited as diplomats to serve in each other’s territory.
A high level government source who confirmed the authenticity of the Chinese Notes questioned the competence of Steele as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“This is really embarrassing. After one year and more in the job as Minister of Foreign Affairs is that all Steele can do? How can he make such a basic mistake as to write Hong Hong to get these people appointed and not Beijing? Even a first year university student doing International Relations would know that he had to send such a letter to the Chinese Government and not the regional authority in Hong Kong”, he said.
“Look at it this way in terms of the Grenada context – is like someone writing to the Ministry of Carriacou & Petite Martinique Affairs asking for a particular person to be appointed to serve as a diplomat in Carriacou when indeed and in fact that letter should go to the government on the Mainland in Grenada”, he added.
THE NEW TODAY has made several unsuccessful attempts to get an interview with Minister Steele to quiz him on the four persons who were selected by the one-year old New National Party (NNP) administration to serve in Hong Kong and are now known to be rejected by the Chinese.
However, sources told this newspaper all four non-nationals are working and living in the United States and not Hong Kong and that the authorities in Grenada were seeking to give them diplomatic cover to sell Grenadian passports as part of the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme.

Last week THE NEW TODAY had published a list of questions that it was planning to ask Minister Steele on the four persons who were earmarked for Hong Kong.
The senior government minister appears not willing to subject himself to be questioned by this newspaper on matters pertaining to his portfolios.

The question relating to Hong Kong were:

(1). How many Diplomatic Agents were recently appointed to Hong Kong?

(2).  What are the names of these persons appointed to Hong Kong?

(3). What are the designations of the persons appointed, and what are their permanent addresses?

(4).  Is there a Diplomatic Mission (Office) in Hong Kong? What is the Address of this Office?

(5).   What is the purpose of the Diplomatic Office in Hong Kong?

(6).   Have the persons designated to Hong Kong, been properly received by the Government of China?

(7).  Have these persons been operating, advertising, promoting, acting or advocating in a manner to suggest that they are appointed to Hong Kong?

(8) Who pays the salary of these diplomatic agents to Hong Kong?

(9). What are the nationalities of these persons appointed to Hong Kong?

(10).   How many times have they visited Grenada? How long have they lived in Grenada? What is their connection with Grenada?

(11).   What were these diplomatic agents promised in exchange for the expenditures that they will incur for Grenada in Hong Hong?

(12). Has the Government of China reacted to Grenada (the sending State) in connection with these Diplomatic Agents? In other words has Beijing accepted these Diplomatic Agents appointed by Grenada to operate in Hong Kong?

(13).  Are these Diplomatic Agents appointed to Hong Kong intended to work or act as Agents to the Grenada Economic Investment Programme (GEIP)?

(14).  Have they in any way been advertising the CBI programme, via the Internet, via actions or otherwise?

(15). If the Government of Grenada were to discover that these persons designated to Hong Kong, have been promoting the GEIP, in violation of the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Act, is the Government prepared to take legal corrective action consistent with the Act.?

THE NEW TODAY notes that Minister Steele has been making himself available to other media entities in the country but have not been addressing any of the specific issues raised by this newspaper.
There are unconfirmed reports that the Grenada Minister was planning a trip to Kong Kong but details are not available as to whether the trip was in a private or governmental capacity.

The Ewart Layne Court Battle

Ewart Layne – was the man in charge of the daily operations of the revolutionary army

Ewart Layne – was the man in charge of the daily operations of the revolutionary army

THE NEW TODAY understands that the Ewart Layne bid to seek admittance to the local bar to practice law has been returned to high court judge, Justrice Margaret Price-Findlay by the Court of Appeal.
Layne challenged the decision of the judge last December to reject his bid to be admitted to the bar.
The applicant has a murder conviction on his file following thebloody events in Grenada in October 1983 when then marxist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was executed along with three Cabinet ministers following a bitter power struggle among moderates and hardliners for control of the New Jewel Movement-controlled government.
Layne along with sixteen former military and political leaders such as ex-deputy prime minister Bernard Coard and General Hudson Austin were convicted and sentenced to be hanged for the bloody murders on Fort George.
The death sentences were later downgraded to life in prison by the 1990-95 National Democratic Congress (NDFC) government of Sir Nicholas Brathwaite.
During his years in prison, Layne who was a secondary schol teacher prior to the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution staged by the NJM studied law and passed with honours.
As a public service THE NEW TODAY reproduces in full the Ewart Layne case that went before Justice Price-Findlay:

Justice Price-Findlay – ruled against Layne getting admittance to serve as a lawyer

Justice Price-Findlay – ruled against Layne getting admittance to serve as a lawyer

IN THE MATTER OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION ACT NO. 25 OF 2011

AND

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY JOSEPH EWART LAYNE TO BE

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE AS AN ATTORNEY-AT-LAW OF THE SUPREME COURT

OF GRENADA AND THE WEST INDIES ASSOCIATED STATES

Appearances:

Mr. Ruggles Ferguson with Mr. Denis Lambert, Ms. Claudette Joseph, Ms.

Cathisha Williams, Mr. Ian Sandy, Ms. Deborah St. Bernard, Mrs. Deborah

Mitchell, Ms. Anyika Johnson, Mr. Francis Paul, Mr. Derrick Sylvester, Ms. Ayanna

Nelson & Dr. Lawrence Joseph, Mr. M. Maduro, Ms. Lou-Ann Harford, Ms. J.

McKenzie, Mr. Peter David, & Mr. Ashley Bernadine for Applicant

Mr. Anselm Clouden and Mr. Tillman Thomas for Applicant absent

Mr. John Carrington, Q.C. Amicus for the Court

2013: December 20

JUDGMENT

PRICE FINDLAY, J.: This is an application brought by way of Fixed Date Claim Form seeking the admission of Joseph Ewart Layne to practice as an Attorney-at- Law in the State of Grenada.
The Applicant holds an LLB degree with Second Class Honours, an LLM with Merit from the University of London, and a degree in Accounting. While at the Hugh Wooding Law School he obtained a Certificate of Merit and was the most outstanding student at the Law School for the two-year period that he attended that institution. He was also the most outstanding Grenadian student for the corresponding period.

That the Applicant has the educational qualifications for admission to the Bar is not in question. But it does not stop there.

The Legal Profession Act S. 17 states:

“17(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person who makes an application tothe Supreme Court and satisfies the Supreme Court that he:

(a) is of good character; and either

(i) holds the qualifications prescribed by law; or

(ii) is a person in respect of when an Order has been made under section 18.

(b) has paid the prescribed fees under the provisions of the Stamp Act in respect of such admission;

(c) has filed in the office of the Registrar an affidavit of his identity, and stating that he has paid the prescribed fee; and

(d) has deposited with the Registrar, for inspection by the Court, his certificate with respect to his qualifications prescribed by law;

Shall be eligible to be admitted by the Court to practice as an attorney-at-law in Grenada.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or any other written law to the contrary, a national of Grenada who makes an application to the Court and satisfies the Court that:

(a) he has the qualifications which would allow him to practice law in any country having a sufficiently analogous system of laws as Grenada: and

(b) he has obtained a certificate from the head of chambers of an attorney-at-law of not less than ten years standing, practicing in Grenada to the effect that the national has undergone an attachment to those chambers for a continuous period of not less than six months relating to the practice of law:

Is deemed to hold the qualifications prescribed by law and is entitled, subject to fulfilling the conditions under subsection (1), to be admitted by the Court to practice as an attorney-at-law in Grenada.
(Before any person is admitted as an Attorney-at-law, the Registrar shall enquire whether the person has fulfilled all the conditions for admission laid down by law, and if the Registrar is satisfied that the person has done so, he shall report accordingly to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court may issue directions and conditions as to the manner in which the qualifications for admission to practice law may be proved, and may order any person to furnish such evidence as may be requested, for the purpose of this section or section 18.
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the Minister, where he considers it necessary or expedient, after consultation with the Chief Justice, may, by Order, provide that a Commonwealth citizen who has been admitted to practice in a Commonwealth country, is eligible to be admitted to practice law in Grenada on such terms and conditions, including but not limited to the duration of the admission, as the Minister may specify in the Order.”
The section clearly envisages that there are two limbs to the admission process:-

(1). The academic and professional education requirement, and

(2). The requirement that the Applicant be of good character.

The legislation confers eligibility but not an entitlement to practice and the Court retains discretion as to whether a person ought to be admitted to practice, notwithstanding that he/she has met the statutory requirements.
I agree with the opinion set out by Amicus Attorney, John Carrington, Q.C. when he stated:

“Like all judicial discretion, the discretion under the Act must be exercised in a manner that is consistent with the interest of justice, that is, by considering and giving proper weight to the relevant matters.”

It is to be noted that acceptance to the Law School does not grant any right or expectation to be admitted to the Bar.
The present Applicant has satisfied the other requirements set out in the section.
Therefore, the sole issue by this Court is, is the Applicant of good character? In other words, is he a fit and proper person to be admitted to the Bar?
Good moral character as defined by Black’s Law Dictionary is “a pre-requisite to admission to the practice of law, an absence of proven conduct or acts which have been historically considered as manifestation of moral turpitude.

Character has been defined in the same publication as:

“The aggregate of moral qualities which belong to and distinguish an individual person, the general result of one’s distinguishing attributes.
That moral pre-disposition or habit, or aggregate of ethical qualities which is believed to attach to a person on the strength of common opinion and report concerning him.”

The Courts will deny an applicant admission to the Bar if the Court believes that said Applicant does not possess the requisite character to be so admitted.
The Court recognizes the importance of good character in future lawyers because ultimately lawyers are the guardians of our fundamental freedoms.
The US Supreme Court in Schware v Board of Examiners1, stated:

“All interests of main that are comprised under the constitutional guarantees given to life, liberty and property are in the professional keeping of lawyers. From a profession charged with such responsibility, there must be exacted those qualities of truth speaking, of a high sense of honour, of granite discretion, of the strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility, that have throughout the cultures been compendiously described as moral character.”

Benjamin, J in Edward Alleyne2 stated:

“… the Bar is no ordinary profession or occupation. The duties and privileges of advocacy are such that for their proper exercise and effective performance, Counsel must command the personal confidence of not only lay and professional clients but other members of the Bar and of judges.”

The Court has no rule automatically barring someone who has been convicted of an offence from the practice of law in this jurisdiction, but an applicant with the background of this Applicant must make an extraordinary showing of rehabilitation and present good moral character.
The test of character is a very high test, and has nothing whatsoever to do with punishment, reward or redemption. The test is whether there is a potential risk to the public or, more importantly, whether there will be damage to the reputation of the profession.
The Court is concerned with the maintenance of public confidence in the members of the profession.

Having reviewed the relevant authorities, I agree that the principles as set out by Amicus as to guide the Court in the proper exercise of its discretion in relation to the question whether the Applicant is of good character.

They are as follows:

* “There is no right to be admitted to practice law under the Legal

Profession Act. The Act lays down only the threshold requirements for the exercise of the Court’s discretion.

* The onus is on the Applicant to prove that he is of good character, which is one of the threshold requirements.

* The test of what is good character is a “high test” but the standard of proof is probably no more than on a balance of probabilities, i.e. the civil standard. This means that there is no presumption that a person is of good character.

* Good character has a subjective element, i.e. that the Applicant is a person of integrity, honesty and reliability. Evidence of past convictions for serious criminal offences are relevant to the proof of this element.

* Good character also has an objective element, namely reputation, but the predominant concern is not the reputation of the applicant but of the profession, i.e. what would be the effect on the collective reputation of and public confidence in the legal profession if the Applicant were admitted to practice.

The nature of the crimes for which an Applicant has been convicted, although they took place almost 30 years ago, are relevant to the determination of both the subjective and objective elements of good character.
The Court is entitled to take into account the gravity of the offences and the part played by the Applicant in the events.
While offences involving dishonesty are generally regarded as most relevant to the test of character, any conviction is relevant. In this regard, it becomes a qualitative issue whether the offence of murder, i.e. deprivation of a person of the rest of his natural life, should be regarded as more, less or equally serious than the deprivation of a person of his material property.
As a refusal to admit is not punitive in nature, it does not amount to double punishment for a crime for which a sentence has been served.
The fact that a conviction took place several decades ago does not mean that it should be disregarded. However, the lapse of time and likelihood of recurrence may be relevant to the determination whether public confidence and the reputation of the profession will be affected by the admission.
The authorities show that the fact that the Applicant was acting under great stress at the time of commission of the crime in question does not excuse him.
The authorities further show that the relative youth of an Applicant at the time that the offences were committed does not excuse him. It is probably relevant in this case that despite his relative youth, the Applicant held a position of authority at the relevant time. It would be relevant to his character if the Court were to hold a view that this position was abused.
The Applicant’s undoubted achievements since his conviction can
alternatively be regarded as evidence of rehabilitation or cast doubt on his character in that as a highly intelligent person, he should have been in a better position to evaluate the wrongfulness of his conduct at the relevant time.
Recommendations, glowing tributes (including academic accolades) and attempts to re-establish himself in society re all relevant considerations but will carry little weight in the Court’s considerations if the Court is of the view that the reputation of the profession as a whole would be adversely affected by the admission of the Applicant.
The fortunes of an Applicant must always give way to the need to maintain the collective reputation of the profession.
If the Court believes that it is probable that public confidence in and the reputation of the profession as a whole are likely to be affected by the admission, the Court has to determine the extent to which these are likely to be affected and weigh the personal factors in relation to the Applicant in this context.
The more probable that public confidence and reputation of the profession are likely to be gravely affected, the less weight should be given to the Applicant’s evidence of rehabilitation and other personal factors.”
This list is not exhaustive and all these factors must be looked at and taken into account.
I take note of the observations of the Applicant as stated in the skeleton arguments of Counsel.

They are as follows:

(I) There is no issue of honesty and trustworthiness and integrity. The offences in question do not touch on these.

(ii) The Applicant made full disclosure of the offences when he applied to the CLE for admission to its two (2) year programme.

(iii) The Applicant has disclosed his record to the court as part of his application.

(iv) The offences were thirty (30) years ago.

(v) The offences occurred in exceptional political circumstances.

(vi) The offences were committed when the Applicant was a relative youth, carried disproportionate burden of responsibility in very difficult circumstances.

(vii) Their likelihood of reoccurrence is extremely remote.

(viii) The Applicant did not personally kill anyone.

(ix) The evidence of rehabilitation since the offences is overwhelming.

(x) The conclusion that the defect which resulted in the commission of the offences of 30 years ago does not play any role in the life of the Applicant is justified when the totality of the circumstances, including the evidence of rehabilitation and the passage of 30 years are considered.

(xi) The application is uncontroverted, and in particular, by the Attorney General and the Grenada Bar Association.
There is no right to Admission to the Bar; it is for the Applicant to satisfy and discharge the burden of the test of character.
While I commend this Applicant for the efforts that he has made to rehabilitate himself in the some thirty years since the convictions for murder, I have to consider the preservation of the integrity of this profession.
The Court has to balance the previous misconduct as opposed to the evidence of rehabilitation.

Deborah Rhode wrote in the Yale Law Journal 19853 that:

“In the United States the traditional view is that certain illegal activity, regardless of the likelihood that it would be repeated in a lawyer/client situation, shows an attitude towards the law that cannot be accepted by its practitioners. It goes further — to hold otherwise would demean the profession’s reputation and reduce the character requirements to a meaningless pretence.”

In this matter the Court commends the efforts of the Applicant, his positive contributions while in prison to educate and inform his fellow inmates as well as his other contribution to prison life. The Court also commends his personal academic achievements.
While rehabilitation is important, a show of rehabilitation in the face of past serious misconduct may be impossible to make.

In Re Gossage4 it is stated:

“… where serious or criminal conduct is involved, positive references about the applicant’s moral character are more difficult to draw, and negative character inferences are stronger and more reasonable.”

The Applicant’s crimes here have been described as acts committed in political turmoil and in exceptional/political circumstances, and in the context of the Cold War.
But the Applicant was 25 years old at the time and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army. In fact, he was in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Army. This shows that he had a level of maturity and had even at that age displayed leadership qualities that lent themselves to him being given that heavy mantle of leadership, Commander of Armed Forces of Grenada.
To give the orders which he and others gave to “liquidate them”, and in circumstances in which they were given, a position away from the actual scene itself, portrays a lack of moral judgment on the part of the Applicant.
The onerous burden placed on this Applicant to show his suitability for the Bar is commensurate with the gravity of the crime for which he was convicted.
The crime of murder is the most serious known to the criminal law. It may attract the harshest penalty known to law – death. The Applicant here was convicted of ten counts of murder.
In the United States in Re Wright5, the Court declined admission for an Applicant convicted of second degree murder “despite his perseverance and despite apparently successful efforts at rehabilitation.”
The United States Courts in Re Wright & Gossage were not swayed even though the profession had no objection to the admission of these applicants.
In Re Hamm6, a United States case out of Arizona, the Applicant claimed to have lived an exemplary life and viewed his admission to the Bar as part of his “path to redemption” and a way to pay “a debt of honour”.
The Court in that case found that the point of admission to the Bar is not to reward a person for behaving and living like the vast majority of the population in civil society.
The point of admission is to select the persons who will handle the law with honesty and with competence, but also not to diminish the role and reputation of the legal profession.
The test which the Court has to apply is whether there is a potential risk to the public or, more importantly, whether there will be damage to the profession’s reputation.
The public must have confidence in the Bar, as admitting an Applicant to practice sends the message that the Applicant is worthy of the public trust.

[ “Lawyers play a critical role in sustaining the rule of law and thus it is necessary that the legal profession maintain its unique ability to do so by earning the respect and confidence of society.”

In the Hamm case, like here, some 30 years had elapsed between the offence in 1974 and the application for admission to the Arizona Bar in 2004, and that application was refused even though he had tried to lead an exemplary life since the time of the offence.
Had this Applicant committed these acts while a practicing attorney, this Court has no doubt that he would have been disbarred. Disbarment has occurred for less egregious conduct.
To allow this Applicant to be admitted would send an inconsistent message to
members of the public and to the profession as a whole.

“The reputation of this profession is more important than the fortunes of any individual member.” Burgham MR. Bolton v Law Society.

The Applicant here is a man who has accomplished much. But having reviewed the evidence and taking into account all the relevant considerations, and the
authorities in England, the United States, the OECS and other jurisdictions, I am constrained to refuse this application for admission.

Margaret A. Price Findlay

High Court Judge

The small business development project

A lack of funds from government to the state-owned Grenada Development Bank (GDB) is affecting the operations of the small business development project.
In addressing reporters at a recent post-Cabinet press briefing, Agriculture Minister Roland Bhola said that the full implementation of the programme is being badly affected by a cash shortage affecting the one-year old ruling New National Party (NNP) government.
Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr Keith Mitchell announced when he presented the 2014 budget in December that Government has decided to allocate $1 million to a fund within GDB to facilitate small business developers.
According to Bhola, Cabinet received a report from the GDB regarding small business loans from the start of the Programme in September 2013 to February, and it shows that 26 approved applicants are yet to be furnished with their money.
He disclosed that 432 applications were received under the programme, 104 were approved, and 78 fell into the category of disbursed and 26 regarded as pending.
Of the 78 loans disbursed, 4 were deemed delinquent with one foreclosure already taking place.
Bhola reminded the media that government “is definitely cash strapped” but a promise was made to the small business people and efforts were being made to provide the necessary funding to the bank for disbursement to successful applicants.
The senior government minister is confident that a tranche of funds received by GDB will soon enable other approved loans to get some disbursements.
Bhola said government is awaiting $7-$8 million from the Caribbean Development Bank (GDB) to reach the GDB coffers by the middle of the year and this will enhance the bank to pour more resources into the small business programme.
During the Budget presentation, Government pointed out that it had signed an agreement with the CARICOM Development Fund to inject a further $8 million in business development through GDB.
Bhola told the local media that the Keith Mitchell-led administration had indicated that as soon as funds are received from donor agencies under the homegrown Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), a significant amount would be put into the small business programme fund.
He lamented the fact that government cannot and is not in a position to provide employment for every citizen and is committed to providing the avenue for persons who have the means to become self employed to have easier means to do so.
The senior government minister urged recipients of the funds to be responsible and repay loans granted or face foreclosure.
Government has said that its objective with the small business programme fund is to help people pursue their dreams, unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and secure their livelihoods.

The SSU Fitness Club gives back

Members of the SSU fitness club

Members of the SSU fitness club

An organisation known by most for its dedication to health and wellness through fitness has taken another step forward, this time in the area of philanthropy.
On Saturday 05th April, the SSU Fitness Club – Point Saline visited the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School better known as Grand Anse R.C. School and provided some much needed assistance to the students and staff.
The school had for some time now, been experiencing difficulty in keeping the students’ safe while at play. A lack of fencing made the grounds easily accessible to vehicular traffic and a constant vigil was needed by all while the children were on the premises.
Upon learning of this possible life threatening situation, the Club made contact with the Principal and a viable solution was reached.
The team, which included members of the SSU Fitness Club and Officers of the Royal Grenada Police Force SSU Unit, were able to erect a wooden pole-and-chain-linked barrier across the entryway to the school yard. This in essence, serves to prevent vehicles from crossing onto the grounds during school hours.
The residents of the surrounding areas were taken into consideration during the planning process and a vehicular entrance was left open on the edge of the property for their use.
The Club also took the opportunity to do a preliminary assessment on some of the other areas of the property which needed some attention.
The work carried out by the Club now brings the school one step closer to living up to the ideals of its Mission Statement which promises “to provide a conducive learning environment in collaboration with all stakeholders, which can foster the holistic development of students so as to prepare them fully for all future endeavours”.
This is not the SSU Fitness Club’s first community service project, and the decision has been taken to do more to enrich the lives of our nation’s people.
To this end, opportunities are being reviewed within other communities on the island and the expectation is that more persons would be able to benefit from the humanitarian efforts of the Club.

Murder on Good Friday

Murder suspect Molton Matthew - appeared in court on Tuesday

Murder suspect Molton Matthew – appeared in court on Tuesday

A long-standing feud between two families in Windsor Forest, St. David’s has finally resulted in the death of one clan member over the Easter holiday weekend .

Dead is 27-year old Lyndon Antoine who is popularly known in the city as “The Kite Man” as he was often seen over the last 4 years selling kites in the weeks leading up to Good Friday.

A charge of murder has been slapped on 23-year old Molton Matthew of the same village who was described as a security officer by profession.

Antoine was living in the Argyle portion of Windsor Forest while the murder accused is from Toco Bay within the same village.

Matthew appeared in the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday before Magistrate Teddy St. Louis and was remanded to the Richmond Hill prison until his next court appearance on May 12 at the St. David’s Magistrate’s Court.

THE NEW TODAY visited the area and was told that on the day of the incident, the deceased and Che “Kartel” Matthew, a brother of the murder accused was engaged in gambling for money.

The incident occurred in a hillside area known as “Madey” where most persons from the village and surrounding areas will assemble on Good Friday to fly kites and engage in fun and frolic like buying drinks on sale from bars.

Lyndon Antoine - received a deadly blow to the forehead

Lyndon Antoine – received a deadly blow to the forehead

An informed source said the gambling started off with about 20 young persons and it came down to Antoine and “Kartel as the only two persons who were into the finals for the “winner take all” money on the table.

“Kartel” is the father of a one-month old baby with the sister of the dead man.

It is alleged that the deceased complained that “Kartel” had attempted to cheat and based on the gambling rules he (Lyndon) was entitled to take all the money.

According to the source, just as Antoine was about to take possession of the money, the accused struck him a vicious blow in the area of the forehead with a “Spice Wood”.

The deceased reportedly never regained any form of consciousness after the blow to the head.

The injured man was taken to the St. George’s General Hospital and a few hours later succumbed to the injury to his head.

An autopsy revealed that Antoine died “as a result of skull fracture resulting from trauma to the head”.

The deceased has left behind a 5-year old son, Rajohn Buckmire who was living with him.
A close family member of the deceased told THE NEW TODAY that the young boy was everything that mattered to Lyndon.

“He (Lyndon) would bathe and dress him for school, drop him to school and go and pick him up after school. His priority was his son. I don’t know how his son will take the death”.

The source said that as soon as Antoine was struck, other members of the Mathew family armed with a knife and cutlass moved in a menacing manner in the direction of Leon, the brother of the deceased.

About nine months ago, Leon had an altercation with “Kartel in which he used a cutlass to strike him over an incident involving his sister.

There are unconfirmed reports that Leon who was on the scene had to flee as some members of the Matthew family moved swiftly in his direction armed with cutlass and knife.

Some villagers have also told the police investigating party that several death threats were made against Leon after the incident with “Kartel”.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, the distraught mother of the deceased, Jacinta Antoine was seen to be visible shaken at the loss of her son whom she described as “very dear to my heart”.

“He (Lyndon) was the best that passed here (in Argyle) for a long time, the whole village will tell you that. My son was very nice to me”, she said.

The mother was in Trinidad at the time of the death and flew into the island on Saturday after hearing of the tragic death.

She spoke of speaking with her son each day on his cell-phone and  that the last time they spoke was on Thursday.

According to the mother, Lyndon was in town selling kites and was attending to a customer and could not talk much with her on the phone.

She said: “He said he was going to call me back when he reached home. When he did not call, I called him but he did not answer the phone”.

A source told this newspaper that the deceased had just over EC$1000.00 with him from the sale of kites when he was struck and fell to the ground.

He said when the pocket was searched at the hospital all the money had disappeared.

“They took the money up there from him”, he remarked.
According to reports in the area, the two families have been engaged in some kind of warfare in recent years and that many reports were made to the St. David’s Police Station.

The mother of the murder accused, a prominent Spiritual Baptist leader visited Argyle a day after the incident to express condolences to the family of the deceased but was reportedly chased out of the area.

The mother has been accused of encouraging her sons to engage in acts of violence against other persons in the neighbourhood.

Only last year, THE NEW TODAY carried a report in which a former GRENLEC employee was chopped in the head and left badly wounded by sons of the Baptist woman after he used a cutlass to chop off the head of a young goat that was eating the crops in his garden.

The injured man had complained repeatedly to the Baptist Woman and allegedly without satisfaction about the constant attacks on his crops by animals belonging to her family.

The villagers have often accused the Baptist woman of encouraging her sons to bully persons in Windsor Forest.

Bail for Guyanese Journalist

Guyanese Journalist Rawle Nelson - facing charges of fraud

Guyanese Journalist Rawle Nelson – facing charges of fraud

Magistrate Karen Noel has ruled against a bid by the Prosecution to send Guyanese Journalist, Rawle Nelson to the Richmond Hill prison to be held on remand on fraud-related charges.

Nelson was picked up within the past week by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) in connection with acts of alleged fraud committed against his former employer, Moving Target, the parent company for the Grenada Informer newspaper and MTV.

Defense attorney, Derek Sylvester was able to convince Magistrate Noel to grant bail despite rigorous opposition from Police Prosecutors who labelled the suspect as a possible flight risk.

Bail was set Wednesday morning at $100,000 with two sureties.

Nelson made his first court appearance on Tuesday but Magistrate Noel, sitting in the Number 2 Magistrate’s Court, reserved her decision until the following day to consider the arguments from both sides.

Sylvester argued that Nelson was Claustrophobic and is suffering from chronic Diabetes and the law does not exclude non-nationals from surrendering all travel documents as part of bail conditions.

In addition, the defense lawyer submitted that Nelson is a man of many talents, has a reputation to protect and that he would stay in Grenada to clear his name against the fraud charges.

The Magistrate decided to grant bail under the conditions that the accused report to the Central Police Station on the Carenage every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m, should not leave the jurisdiction without leave of the court and surrender all travel documents including non-Grenadian passports.

Nelson has been slapped with two counts of stealing by reason of employment the sum of EC$15,394.28, uttering a forged document and forgery.

The crime was allegedly committed while the suspect was employed with The Grenada Informer, which hired him in July 2013.

Before coming to Grenada, Nelson had worked in a number of Caribbean islands as a Freelance Journalist but was hired by the Grenada Informer newspaper as a Consultant and Managing Editor.

He recently resigned from the company but just before he did, the accountants with the company allegedly discovered that there were a significant amount of financial matters outstanding and upon investigation it was felt that Nelson could help clear up the outstanding matters.

The CID was called in to investigate the acts of alleged fraud.

Nelson is due to return to court on June 3.

Education is the key!!!

THE NEW TODAY have been listening to the many suggestions in the market place to tackle the myriads of problems facing Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

A number of the ideas put forward are worthwhile for consideration – but none of them can be more important than the need to change the mindset of our people.

It is not an easy task given the quick fix syndrome of our political leaders who are always on the hussle and driven by the 5-year cycle of election into office.

Several years ago, a veteran politician made the comment that it was unwise to make a person become independent because one will lose his/her vote.

The message was clear – Tom Brown and Mary Brown had to be kept in a state of dependence in order to ensure that on Election Day they cast the vote in a particular direction.

Even if this statement was made 30 years ago, it is still relevant today and perhaps even more relevant given the reality of the present political construct and vicious cycle which so many of our people have now found themselves.

A recent letter writer made a simple statement on what he perceived to be the way out for our people. He said: “Education in the sense of the word is the key”.

The author was on the ball. An educated nation is needed to chart the course forward for this country and to get people to wise up to their plight in life and to understand that only through hard work, honesty, commitment, self-sacrifice and dedication to purpose that they can hope to see a better tomorrow.

The two major political parties in the country – NNP and NDC- will be recycled by the electorate every five years unless and until one of them break the shackles and start to address the real issues facing Grenada: The need for a change in the mindset of the people.

Herein lies the heart of the problem – in the words of the letter writer who was bang on target in identifying a particular malaise in the Grenadian society.

He said: “Ever since I was a child I have been hearing about Grenadians ripping off their own people, sometimes family members — running off with other people’s money; cheating them out of their savings; properties and so on. This still happens today with the older generation. I could not believe how dishonest and deceitful some people can be.

Since returning to Grenada, my wife and I have been victims on more than one occasion — people taking our money and promising to purchase materials and finish off jobs; however, on our return we find nothing has been done and these swindlers cannot be found and if you are lucky to find them they want more money to finish off jobs they should have finished months ago”.

THE NEW TODAY is totally in agreement with the above. There is a money culture that has swept over this land of ours and far too many are not prepared to give an honest day’s work for the kinds of monies they are demanding from persons.

If anyone had any doubt about the downright dishonesty of some of our people then just take a quick look back at the days after Hurricane Ivan created its havoc on our housing stock.

Almost overnight every little bus conductor and others who did not know how to use a spade or shovel became a Contractor and demanding big bucks from homeowners to help in the rebuilding process.

Our people were held ransom by these so-called Contractors who sprung up overnight just as how kidnappers in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago were snatching the rich and mighty and asking for huge ransoms in exchange for their release.

Even today, some homeowners are still owed thousands of dollars by these so-called Contractors who failed to honour the contract and do the work that was agreed upon.

This is separate from those lousy insurance companies who were collecting monthly payments from clients, sending them off mainly to parent companies in Trinidad & Tobago and after Ivan did not have a penny to compensate homeowners for their losses incurred as a result of Ivan.

Today, the country is into the midst of a deep fiscal situation and most of our people are not prepared due to a lack of education and understanding to cope with the problem because of the dollar mentality.

Sadly, too many Grenadians are into this “gimme, gimme mentality” and hands always stretched out to collect some of the crumbs of offer from politicians who are only smartmen and prepared to keep them in a state of dependency.

The former rulers were thrown out of office for a number of reasons including late payment of salaries to civil servants and the failure to provide the conditions for business people to top up regularly on their bank accounts.

Today, the same people are now criticising the NNP for the many promises that remain unfulfilled – shortages of jobs especially for key party supporters and the imposition of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that is eating away at their disposable income.

The policeman who voted for NNP is now complaining about the taxman dipping his hand too deep into his monthly pay check from the Ministry of Finance.

The vicious cycle of playing games with the people’s mind will continue – until and unless – the politicians decide to come clean with the people and educate them about the need to try and lift themselves up for their own development, as well as stop seeing government as the wherewithal to solve all their problems.

This untenable situation cannot continue in Grenada because the politician will always have to continue to walk the road of borrowing and spending to keep an expectant population happy with this “gimme, gimme mentality”.

If our people are not educated to understand the Grenada reality then every 20-25 years the name of the game in our part of the world will always be Structural Adjustment as we will be forced to deal with a fiscal deficit.

Grenada’s democratic system under renewed threat

By Arthur Kallick

By Arthur Kallick

By Arthur Kallick

In an unprecedented move, Mr Aaron Francois, the supervisor of elections tendered his resignation to Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade. This is the first time that a holder of this office has taken this course of action. When questioned by the local press, he indicated that it was done for “professional and personal reasons”.

Mr Francois succeeded Ms Judy Benoit, who was unceremoniously fired by the Governor General less than a year ago. Ms Benoit dared to stand up to the government’s plan to install internet services that would put the voter registration system on a shared network with the Office of the Prime Minister. Her objection was based on a concern that access to the list of electors and the issuance of ID cards may end up in the hands of unauthorised persons.

In this regard, in a memorandum to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Ms Benoit stated, “I submit that this is not a matter of resistance but a commitment to the independence of this institution and to work within the confines of the laws governing the process.” Her dismissal came shortly after without being given a hearing to explain her position.

Whether the Governor General did “what she had to do” or “did what she was told” is still a subject of public speculation. Ms Benoit, however, has taken legal action against the Office of the Governor General on matters pertinent to her dismissal.
After Mr Francois assumed office, the issue receded out of the mainstream of public discussion. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the plan to connect the Electoral Office to the shared network in the Office of the Prime Minister did take place. This may be a good opportunity for the office of the Governor General to clarify this in the interest of maintaining public confidence in the electoral system.

There have been consistent reports that the current administration is hell bent on making changes in the electoral office. News broke that the System Administrator of the voter registration and card issuance system at the office of the supervisor of elections will be removed from his position. It was reported also that the administrator is a competent and dedicated employee who was trained extensively under an aid package supported by the Organisation of American States (OAS). Apparently Mr Francois resisted efforts to terminate the administrator’s contract.

The unfolding events became more confusing as it was reported that the replacement is a close relative of a government minister. A dark cloud hangs over the office of the supervisor of elections since Mr Francois had only taken up duty less than six months ago.

On Friday 4th April, the main opposition National Democratic Congress staged a peaceful picket of the Elections Office to highlight public concerns over the unfolding events at that office.

The appointment of Minister Gregory Bowen , an engineer, to act as Attorney General on two separate occasions, the appointment of the wife of the Foreign Minister and the President of the Senate as agents under the Citizenship By Investment programme and the effective appointment of the spouse of a government minister as head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and contrary to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules are worrying signs that the NNP administration is using its monopoly in Parliament to act with impunity.

My sainted grandmother once said that, in Grenada, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Maybe the nation should take a page from Dr Mitchell’s oft used slogan that “what goes around comes around”.

Arthur Kallick was born in Trinidad and lived in Grenada until he moved to Canada in the late 1980s after completing secondary school. He has a Master’s in family counselling and child physiology from the University of Toronto. He is now a freelance writer and has been living in Grenada for the past six years, and at present works with Caribbean Family Planning unit as a counsellor

Lauriston Airport Expansion Projects

Carriacou drilling-2China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which is nearing completion of work on the flood mitigation project in St. Mark will soon be moving over to the sister isle of Carriacou.

The Chinese company has landed a contract with government to take on the Lauriston Airport upgrade and expansion project as well as a project to upgrade and improve the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) on the mainland.

A release from CHEC said that the company has already mobilised its engineers, who are currently on the ground in Carriacou, doing the required geo-technical surveys and studies for the project.

“These geo-technical studies aim to answer questions related to the length and direction of the runway, the placement of aircraft aprons, the terminal building and the fire station etc”, it added.

“CHEC has already rented living quarters for its project engineers in Carriacou and is in the process of fabricating its site office, which will serve as the point of contact between the company and the local community”, it said.

The release noted that government was planning to have the LIAT 72-seater fly into Carriacou but that aeronautical studies are being conducted to determine whether the runway will be able to accommodate aircraft of that size.

According to the release, the aeronautical studies will take into consideration wind direction and speed; elements which will have direct impact on flight landing and takeoff.

Last Thursday, a team of experts from the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) located in Antigua, visited Grenada and held meetings with officials from Government, the Airport Authority, China Harbour and other direct stakeholders.

A notable presence at these meetings was Lin Linsheng; a world famous Chinese expert in the area of airport design and construction.

Lin was hired by CHEC to lend his over 40 years experience to the process and to assure Government that the Chinese company would spare no resources in ensuring that the best expertise are available for the airport projects.

The CHEC release also quoted Parliamentary Representative for Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Elvin Nimrod as telling the company that the Lauriston Airport project will provide easier access for travel to and from Grenada.

“…It will allow aircrafts to land during the night, it will allow passengers from international flights to come to Carriacou immediately and very importantly it will open up the door for investment and expansion in the tourism and agricultural industry”, Nimrod said.

The island’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Legal Affairs, also expressed delight with the employment opportunities; the project is expected to create in his constituency.

“It has been a quite while since Carriacou has had a project of this magnitude” the Minister said, adding that, “the direct and indirect spin-offs will benefit the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique tremendously”.