Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves asking questions about the sudden resignation last month of Registrar of the High Court, Tamara Gibson-Marks.
Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan demanded Gibson-Marks’ resignation during a meeting on May 21, and the former registrar left the same day for St. Lucia, where she was born.
Gonsalves has said that the Attorney General, Commissioner of Police, and Director of Audit are involved in an investigation surrounding Gibson-Marks’ resignation.
The Attorney General has applied to have Gibson-Marks disbarred from practicing law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, even as police chief Michael Charles is yet to receive the Director of Audit’s report.
Eustace in his letter to Gonsalves said that to use “disbarment proceedings as your starting point, is to put the cart before the horse”.
“It is critical that you clear the air on these matters and take the necessary legal action, given the current climate and widely expressed concern about corruption in this country,” Eustace said.
He asked the Prime Minister, who is also Minister of Legal Affairs, to say whether the Gibson-Marks submitted “any false court orders … to any bank in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to justify the withdrawal of funds from accounts held at that bank”, and if so, how many such false court orders were submitted, and the amount of money withdrawn.
The Opposition Leader also asked the Prime Minister to say If money was withdrawn, how much, if any, has since been repaid, and whether he can confirm that $130,000 has been repaid.
Eustace also asked if any birth certificates have been issued by the Registry to persons not born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and if so, how many were issued.
“Have any Vincentian passports been issued to those persons NOT born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines based on those birth certificates?” Eustace further said in his letter.
Eustace said that under the Gonsalves administration there have been “several instances of official corruption in many areas of government”, and mentioned the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture, Health, Foreign Affairs, and the Airport Authority.
“The recent report of the Director of Audit, on government accounts 2010, and her report on St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ New York Mission, along with the recent resignation of the High Court Registrar has brought the discussion on corruption to the top of the public agenda.
“In my capacity as Opposition Leader I have on several occasions, called on you to explain to the public what has happened with regard to these matters dating back to the US$1 million deposit to the National Commercial Bank.
“You have always studiously ignored these calls,” Eustace said.
“In the present circumstances, given the sudden resignation and flight of the Registrar, and the issue of whether there is any allegation of wrong doing on her part, the question of professional disciplinary proceedings (disbarment) being initiated by the Attorney General does nothing to answer the mounting questions being asked by the general public, who quite rightly deserve to see the application of justice with an even hand, in our nation,” Eustace said.