KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace will by Tuesday respond to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ offer to withdraw a High Court judgement against him.
Eustace told I-Witness News on Sunday that his New Democratic Party (NDP) is slated to have a press conference on Tuesday but he might speak on the matter during his weekly radio appearance on Monday.
On Nov. 7, 2011, Justice Gertel Thom entered judgement in default of defence against Eustace for damages to be assessed and cost in relation to a defamation suit Gonsalves brought against Eustace in 2008.
Meanwhile, on April 16, 2008, a similar judgement was entered against NDP lawmaker and West Kingstown constituency representative Daniel Cummings in a defamation suit brought by Gonsalves.
Gonsalves said in Parliament on Jan. 11 that he would be withdrawing the application for the award of damages in both cases.
“I want tonight to indicate to this Honourable House and to the nation, that as part of the process of reconciliation, I shall tomorrow instruct my lawyers to indicate to the High Court that I shall not proceed in any action in relation to those judgements,” Gonsalves said on Jan. 11, at end of the day’s debate on the 2012 budget.
Gonsalves’ lawyer on Jan. 17 wrote Eustace’s lawyer asking for written confirmation that Eustace “is amenable to the proceedings to be discontinued”. Gonsalves has until March 6 to file for assessment of damages.
In a similar letter to Cummings’ lawyer, Gonsalves’ lawyer asked for written confirmation that the opposition legislator wishes to discontinue the case. Award of damages in that matter is expected during the week of Feb. 20.
I-Witness News was unsuccessful in its attempts to reach Cummings Sunday afternoon. However, he told I-Witness News on Jan. 11 that he would not comment on the development until he has spoken to his lawyer.