Wednesday, February 13 2008
LAWYERS for former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday want Magistrate Ejenny Espinet to step down from hearing his bribery case.
Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC, lead counsel for Panday and his wife Oma, submitted yesterday in the Port-of-Spain First Magistrates’ Court that Espinet was a trustee of the Morris Marshall Development Foundation in Laventille.
Maharaj said the Marshall Foundation promotes the activities of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) which is opposed to Panday’s United National Congress (UNC).
He said there could be a public perception that the magistrate was promoting the aims of the Foundation. Maharaj said he had evidence that persons who went to the Foundation for assistance were told they must carry a PNM party card. He said when Panday’s case went before the magistrate, she had a duty to tell the lawyers that she was a trustee of the Foundation.
The Tabaquite MP said apart from Espinet being a trustee, there were other names on the list such as John Jeremie and Martin Joseph.
“This is a very sensitive matter,” Maharaj added. “I am serving notice that if you decide against me after hearing my submissions, I will not call evidence, but I would test it in the High Court.”
Maharaj added, “The politics in the country are very much alive, the country is divided politically. Here is a magistrate who is involved in a Foundation started by a former PNM Minister.”
Maharaj said there was the likelihood of apparent bias and cited the case of Panday v Virgil in which the Leader of the Opposition was charged with failing to declare a London bank account to the Integrity Commission.
He also cited the case of Pinochet in which Lord Hoffmann was accused of apparent bias because of his wife’s links to Amnesty International. After hearing the submissions, Espinet said she would give her decision on February 19.
But Panday and his wife were excused because they are expected to be in London for his Privy Council appeal as to whether he should be retried on the integrity charges.
Ishwar Galbaransingh, Carlos John, and the Pandays are charged with a series of offences which allege that Galbaransingh and John gave Panday £25,000 as a bribe to favour Galbaransingh’s Northern Construction Limited in the tendering process for Piarco Construction Package 3 back in December 1998.
Ejenny is a fockin PNM stooge. Sitting and hearing this matter without telling the fockin people that you and your PNM assholes were in the same organisation.
LEAP is ah PNM party group. Check the list of the Board of Trustees:
Fr. Clyde Harvey
Mr Martin Joseph
Ms. Donna Prowell-Raphael
Mr. Carlston Clarke
Mr. John Jeremie
Mr. Albert Joseph
Ms. Carolyn Washington Aigle
Me. Joslyn Mc Leod-Smith
Ms. Linda Hollingsworth
Ms. Ejenny Espinet
Mr. Jack Alexsis
Ms. Debbie Jeremie
Ms. Ayanna Atiba-Braithwaite
Mr. Raphael George.
Bas right again, he could never get a fair trial for anything in T&T!
Put that in yuh bamsee and smoke it!