Failure of the complainant to file its legal submissions in the Ruel Edwards versus the Integrity Commission court matter, has seen the court applying deadlines, to have the matter resolved.
This affected the trial for oral submissions which was set to commence on Wednesday.
The Integrity Commission and former CEO of the Marketing and National Importing Board, Ruel Edwards were both represented at Wednesday’s sitting.
Edwards is being represented by Cajeton Hood, while Ruggles Ferguson sits for the Defense.
Wednesday’s date was set aside, following a deadline of May 31st for submissions.
Hood did not meet the timeline given by the Court.
When they appeared before Belizean born judge Justice Godfrey Smith, the parties were scolded, because the court had no submissions from Hood, which means the case could not be heard again.
Justice Smith says this was particularly unfortunate given the back-log crisis, facing the courts.
The attorneys were told that no other dates were available in June for oral submissions and that the only option would be for written submissions.
Attorney Cajeton Hood has been given a deadline of June 14, to make written submissions to the court.
“The essence of the claim is to say that the integrity commission did not have the authority to do what they are doing. In the meantime the integrity commission gave the undertaking to the court in the initial order, that they would stop whatever they were doing and await what the court would say. In fact the only reason why we filed the claim was because we asked for that very undertaking in November, December and they refused to give the undertaking…. and because of the integrity commission’s refusal to give the undertaking, then we had to file and try and get the court to prevent them from continuing what they were doing, because as far as we are concerned they were acting wrongfully” Mr. Hood told GBN.
Meanwhile the inquiry into alleged financial impropriety at the MNIB has been put on hold, pending the outcome of this matter.
Attorney for the Commission Ruggles Ferguson says this would have no bearing on the court’s final decision.
“You know you may start and then there is court proceedings going on, there is doubt as to what would be the outcome of the court proceedings, whether or not the court would give an order to stay at the end of it. So once there were agreement on the timelines, then the defendant was satisfied well one would loose a few weeks but by June we should know what the result is,” Ferguson explained.
Following the filing of the complainant on June 14, the defendant, the integrity commission, will need to reply by June 21 which will be followed by the court judgments on June 28.
Edwards is being represented by Trinidadian attorneys, Douglas Mendez, while the Commission’s legal team is being led by Gilbert Peterson, also from Trinidad and Tobago.