Justice Esco Henry who was appointed last year as the trial judge in the petitions matter brought by NDP candidates Ben Exeter and Lauron Baptiste has recused herself.
prominent lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste Baptiste, who is representing Lauron Baptiste, confirmed the judge’s decision to recuse herself today as she appeared on radio.
Bacchus-Baptiste said Justice Henry and lawyers involved in the petitions trial, as well as other lawyers, may yesterday. She said Justice Henry informed them that there were 12 matters listed for hearing on the 3rd December, 2018, which was the day previously set for the resumption of the petition trial which last Friday was adjourned on an application made by lawyer Grahame Bollers who is representing respondents Sir Louis Straker and Montgomery Daniel who contested the Central Leeward and North Windward constituencies, respectively, in the December 2015 elections.
Bacchus-Baptiste said that Justice Henry was concerned that the public has perceived that the petitions trial was adjourned to February 11 – March 1st, 2019 because she knew of the 12 matters listed already. She said that Justice Henry told them she was not previously aware and she did not know how they got listed but the Registrar is investigating.
Bacchus-Baptiste said that it means a new “competent” judge has to be appointed to hear the trial and that judge will need time to go over the notes and all the documents to familiarize himself/herself with the matter.
Bacchus-Baptiste believes the trial of the petitions is in “jeopardy” but she expresses hope that the matter will be heard between February and March as listed.