KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 15, IWN – A lawyer has described as “strange” a court order that Nice Radio pay Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves $138,000 that a committee raised to meet a defamation judgement.
BDS Ltd., owners of Nice Radio, owes Gonsalves about $200,000 in damages, cost and interest.
The Save Nice Radio appeal, led by lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne, social activist Junior Bacchus, and former radio talk show host, Matthew Thomas, has been trying to raise the money and has received some $140,000 in donations.
The court in January ordered BDS Ltd. to pay no later than Jan. 31, 2013, the $138,000 the committee had raised then.
“I must say that I don’t know how this order came about because at no time did BDS say that it has $138,000 in its possession. At all times, it was absolutely clear that this money is in a bank account … at RBTT Bank,” Bacchus-Browne said at a press conference on Wednesday.
She said she, Thomas and Bacchus, are signatories to the account and have sworn an affidavit.
“I don’t see how it could be said that BDS allegedly said it possesses that money,” she said, referring to the court order.
“Well, they are ordering BDS to deliver a manager’s cheque from an account that he doesn’t have, that he doesn’t own and he is not a signatory to.”
The court order also appointed Peter Alexander and Trevor Edwards as joint receiver and manager for BDS Ltd.
“And the third part of the order is the most perplexing part of it all because, Peter Alexander is being appointed as a joint receiver in a lawsuit that has nothing to do with Peter Alexander. And what is more, this order amends an order made in a completely different lawsuit. I have never seen anything like that. It is not legally permissible…”
She was referring to a lawsuit against BDS Ltd. by Beachmont Estates, a company owned by a sister-in-law of Douglas DeFreitas, owner and manager of BDS Ltd.
“The master is a learned master. I don’t know how this order came about like that,” Bacchus-Browne said.
She said Bertram Commissiong, QC, who is representing BDS Ltd., has appealed the order.
“And I know that Miss [Nicole] Sylvester, who acts for Beachmont Estates, will be making certain applications to the court also in relation to this strange order,” Bacchus-Browne said at the press conference.
She further said she did not see until last week the court order requiring that the $138,000 be paid by Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.
The committee is hoping to raise an additional $70,000 Thursday night through a radio-thon on Nice Radio.
They hope to pay the full judgement by Feb. 25
Meanwhile, Bacchus-Browne said she met Gonsalves in December and told him that the appeal had raised the full amount for the judgement debt.
She said she further told him that the money could be given to him, even as efforts are made to raise the cost and interest, thereby making the appointment of a receiver pointless.
Bacchus-Browne said Gonsalves was conciliatory and said he would inform his lawyer, Grahame Bollers then get back to Commissiong.
In January, before the matter came to court, Commissiong wrote Bollers but Bollers didn’t respond, Bacchus-Browne said.