by Linda Straker and Curlan Campbell
- 5 June trial but did not occur
- Legal counsel for Edwards failed to meet 31 May deadline to provide required legal submissions
- On 28 June, Justice Godfrey Smith will provide a judgment
There will not be a trial by oral submission in the legal matter involving Ruel Edwards and the Integrity Commission, but on 28 June 2019, the judge hearing the matter will provide a judgment once both parties comply with the deadline to provide legal submissions.
The matter was up for trial on Wednesday, 5 June but did not occur because Cajeton Hood, legal counsel for Edwards failed to meet the 31 May deadline to provide the court with the required legal submissions.
Hood requested an extension of time and legal counsel for the Integrity Commission, Ruggles Ferguson, did not object to the adjournment.
After listening to Hood’s reasons for the extension, Justice Godfrey Smith who is hearing the matter, gave the deadline of 14 June for Edwards’ legal counsel to submit the necessary documents to the court. The Integrity Commission will respond by 21 June to the submissions and a judgment will be delivered on 28 June.
Speaking to the media after receiving the adjournment, Hood said, “We needed to ask for an adjournment because we did not file the submissions that we should have filed by the end of May, and the reason is because we are trying to get an agreement on the issues of fact and law as per the consent order. That did not materialise.”
“Based on the request for an adjournment we had to forego the trial that could have been by oral submissions. So, we agreed today to have the trial by submissions on paper only,” Hood said. “The order of the court is that we file all our submission by the 14th of June and the court has given the Integrity Commission one week to respond if they need to, to our submission and the court has pronounced that it will give a decision in the matter on the 28th of June.”
Hood explained that the essence of the claim is to say that the Integrity Commission did not have the authority to conduct an investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoings at the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), while Edwards was the Chief Executive Officer of the statutory body.
Ferguson said that the ruling will determine whether the Integrity Commission acted within its legal jurisdiction. Since the matter was filed, all investigations were put on hold. “So, the ruling will guide us in going forward,” said Ferguson.
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