My decision earlier this week to commence proceedings before the High Court against the Attorney General and the Speaker of the House of Representatives was one that I took to preserve my right to represent my 29000 plus constituents. It was a decision that I took to uphold and preserve the rule of law and it was a decision that I took to protect my constitutional rights from flagrant abuse and deliberate action by the legislative arm of the State. But most of all the action that I took was action that I considered necessary to preserve our democracy from this tyrant administration led by Dr. Rowley.
The matters that resulted in me being brought before the Committee of Privileges of the Parliament relate to my earlier disclosures in the House of Representatives about the multi-million-dollar A&V Fake Oil Scandal. When this matter was referred to the Committee I immediately, on the 30th November 2018, instructed my Attorneys to write to the Speaker who is the Chairman of the Committee and bring to her attention the action that were being taken that were palpably unlawful and designed to ensure that I was not afforded a fair hearing before the Committee. I never received a response to this letter.
In the action filed in Court I claimed that the Committee was not properly constituted according to the Standing Orders that were made under the Constitution. I claimed that there were members of the Committee who by their actions had expressed their bias towards the issues to be determined by the Committee and therefore could not properly be members of the Committee and I had alleged that the continuation of the proceedings by the Committee as presently constituted would result in the breach of my constitutional rights.
Before the matter could be heard Senior Counsel appearing for the Speaker through her Attorney injuncted herself by informing the Court that “The Interested Party is prepared to give an undertaking that the hearing of the allegations as to whether the Claimant committed a contempt of the House on 9th and 10th October, 2018 will be adjourned until the hearing and determination of the Notice of Application filed on 4th February, 2019 or until further order.”
This was a historic and landmark victory for the people of this country as it represented an acknowledgment, for the first time, that the High Court is prepared to exercise its powers as the guardian of the Constitution to ensure that the legislative arm of the State does not commit a breach of the Constitution to the detriment of the citizenry. The order of the court represented a complete vindication of my decision to invoke the powers of the Court in this matter.
A subsequent media release from the Corporate Communications Department of Parliament is misleading, erroneous and very troubling as it sought to discount the significance and far reaching effects of the order of the Court.
That media statement said that no injunction was granted, but deliberately and purposely ignored the fact that the Speaker imposed an injunction on herself before allowing the Court to do so on the application that was before it.
Secondly, the Committee of Privileges on the afternoon of Tuesday February 5, 2019 breached the undertaking that was given to the Court. The Committee met under the chairmanship of the Speaker and decided to discontinue one of the matters against me. This was the matter that pertained to the statements made regarding the Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley.
The meeting of the Committee and continuing with the hearing of the matter is in clear violation of the order of the Court, since the Speaker had assured the Court that there would be no hearing of the allegations until the substantive claim is resolved.
Instead, the Committee sat, discussed the matters and took action with respect to the allegations that were the subject of the matter before the Committee. This constitutes an obvious contempt of court, since it undermines and breaches the order of the Court. I propose to bring these matters to the attention of the Court at the next hearing. The breach of the order is even more disturbing because the Speaker is one of the most senior office holders of the Parliament, is a former Attorney General and an Attorney-at-Law.
Thirdly, the Committee’s media release infringes Standing Order 113 of the House of Representatives. The Standing Orders stipulates: “The proceedings of and the evidence taken at a meeting of a Select Committee or Sub-Committee, and any documents presented to, and decisions of, such a Committee shall not be published by any Member thereof or by any other person, before the Committee has presented its report to the House.” The country has a right to know who authorized this media statement, because this person may well be the subject of a motion of privilege and whether the members of the Committee approved the contents of the media release. I am confident that the Parliament of our country will act with the same alacrity that was evidenced in publishing its release to provide the answers to these questions to the national community.
I reaffirm my commitment to upholding the constitution and the laws of our country. I reaffirm my commitment to upholding the rule of law and our democracy and I reaffirm my personal unwavering duty to fight, in and out of the Court, the oppression, persecution and tyranny that this Keith Rowley administration has reigned on our people until they are removed from office.