Former Registrar of the High Court, Tamara Gibson-Marks. (Internet photo)

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace is questioning the validity of some marriages over which former Registrar of the High Court, Tamara Gibson-Marks reportedly officiated.

Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan asked Gibson-Marks to resign on May 21, and has since applied for her to be disbarred from practising law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

That application will be heard in early September, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Legal Affairs, told a press conference on Monday.

I-Witness News understands that some EC$300,000 from an account that Gibson-Marks held in trust is unaccounted for.

Eustace wrote to Gonsalves last month asking questions about financial transactions that the Registrar may have conducted and other matters relating to the issuing of Vincentian passports.

Gonsalves in his response told Eustace that he and the nation should await the outcome of the on-going investigation and court proceeding.

But Eustace said in Langley Park Tuesday night, at the beginning of his New Democratic Party’s “Ring De Bell Island Tour”, that he has pictures showing Gibson-Marks conducting weddings outside of her office, contrary to the law.

“I have some pictures, … of the registrar conducting marriages at a certain place here… And where I get those pictures from, I know that they are real.

“… And they are not in black and white at all, they are in bright colours; very beautiful photographs. The law book is there in the hands of the Registrar and the bride and groom are in front of her. Well, that is not a funeral. That is a wedding,” Eustace said.

He said that under the marriage law, normally, the Registrar should conduct marriages in the Registry.

“That is what the law provides for,” Eustace said, adding that the validity of weddings otherwise conducted by the Registrar can be questioned.

“There is another section under the law where somebody might challenge. And the question is, if you challenge one of those weddings that were done outside of the Registry, can the marriage remain valid?”

But Eustace said that more importantly, he would like to find out what fees were collected for the conduct of those weddings.

“More importantly, I would want to find out whether the Registrar collected any fees for the Accountant General. That is, for the government, and whether she collected any other fees; because the fees have to go to the Accountant General,” he said.

Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace. (IWN File Photo)
Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace. (IWN File Photo)

No more letters

“That’s another question I have, but I ain’t going send Ralph no letter. I going find out that one for myself,” Eustace said.

“And when I find it out, because I have some information already, I will give it to the people of this country and tell them exactly what has been happening.

“I done with the letter business; done with that. You see, you can’t cover up corruption and so on indefinitely.

“Either something will go wrong with you or somebody who knows about it will get fed up and talk.”

Eustace on June 23 wrote a two-page letter to Gonsalves, asking seven questions relating to the resignation of the Registrar.

Gonsalves gave a 26-page response one week later.

“Twenty-six pages and he ain’t answer any of the questions I asked,” Eustace said, adding that in the letter, Gonsalves talked  “all kind of stupidness about things long past and things that are not true.

“I am not going to respond to him. He don’t deserve a reply,” Eustace said.

UPDATE: A lawyer told I-Witness News on Wednesday that one section of the laws of SVG says that the Registrar  may not act as a marriage officer outside of her office, but an amendment in 2008 said that the Registrar may do so, if they consider that place a suitable one. The lawyer further said that is a legal argument for the courts to clarify.

4 replies on “Eustace questions validity of marriages conducted by former Registrar”

  1. “A lawyer told I-Witness News on Wednesday that one section of the laws of SVG says that the Registrar may not act as a marriage officer outside of her office, but an amendment in 2008 said that the Registrar may do so, if they consider that place a suitable one. The lawyer further said that is a legal argument for the courts to clarify.”

    Way the tail, so let me get this straight you mean to tell me that sections of our laws were changed specifically to allow the registrar to do weddings too? lord have mercy, I don’t even know if Vincentians understand how serious this matter is, a system, any system have sections for a reason, and breaks up the work so that no one person or section can manipulate the system on a large scaled. But with this new revelation the registrar became a walking loophole and security breach into our country, and with the passport issues we have and the money she allegedly stole, I am sure it is safe to ask if any marriage for papers were done by her, and where the monies are. Did she conduct any marriages for immigration fraud for money?

    Why did the government amend the law of the land to allow her to do weddings outside of her office? that is just crazy. Why did the government go to such an extreme to allow her to marry people outside of her office? Did she marry any of these people on foreign soil? she made a lot of trips to the middle east, did she marry any of them there? This government is so corrupt it is sickening. There is no good reason anyone can give for allowing this woman to marry outside of her office. But time longer than twine, many of you going to jail. OWN THE JAIL

  2. Teacherfang says:

    Why would Eustace be throwing shade on these particular weddings? Just to get political mileage? This is real crap, now these couples who got married by this Registrar, maybe getting all nervous as to the legitimacy of their marriage. And I am sure if any of these couples are Vincentians, Eustace would want them to vote for NDP…right…Mother Priam used to say, common sense comes before book…and common sense is not so common.

    I think Eustace and the NDP is once again over-playing their hand, in their attempt to tarnish the Government with this Registry issue. Well the Government have already suffered immensely within the public domain and the NDP from a strategic point, should just leave things to run its course. The Government is caught between a rock and a bullwood, any which way, its going to hurt them politically. If the Government wants to drag the issue on on…then its in the NDP advantage, all they have to do is to occasionally remind the public and the Government as to the status of the investigation and on what is going on with the case; thereby always keeping the Government on its back foot. On the other hand, if and when the case is tried in courts..the NDP just have to sit back and watch the Government self-destruct. Sometimes, the best strategy is not to do anything.

    However, this demagoguery by the NDP, is not helping them;they look desperate and they should learn a thing or two from the last election. The electorate is not easily swayed by public scandal(unfortunately as a society)…these are dime a dozen…the electorate wants to know, if a NDP Government is going to make their lives better…and for the past three elections, the electorate has not been entirely convinced. I would suggest to the NDP that they come off of this issue and concentrate on issues that really affect the lives of all Vincentians; for instance the upsurge of violent crimes.

    The NDP constant bickering on this issue will only help Gonsalves to show his arse. He is shrewd enough to make Eustace and the NDP look stupid. Take for instance the 26-page response by Gonsalves to the questions asked by Eustace. The response by Gonsalves was utter and complete contempt for Eustace and the NDP. It was an absolute blunder by Eustace, in writing a letter to Gonsalves. A more effective strategy, was to simply publish said letter in the respective media and let the chips fall as they may.

    RING DE BELL!!!

  3. Assing Richards says:

    Mr Eustace,
    Why do you disregard the truth that you are doing a WRONG by making statements about a matter currently under police investigation?
    If you have evidence of a wrong doing, you mention above, why not go to the police?
    Do you remember the error about not going to the police with information about a proposed shooting in your constituency?
    Why do you insist on not telling the police things that they should know , instead, you go to America and Canada and tell the WHOLE WORLD?
    You know you are not right and a word to the wise ” When you are in a hole, stop digging”

  4. Teacherfang, I don’t agree with your sentiments on this marriage issue. Blane is asking questions Arnhim didn’t ask. You have to consider that marriage may be the loop hole to issue passport to non-Vincentians, who may be eligible for a SVG passport because of a marriage certificate. So questions have to be asked to clarify what’s going down. Who knows what else this woman did in that office. She left in such a hurry; no one got a chance to ask her anything. This has more to do with the security of the Vincentian society. Don’t forget you have to get a visa to come to Canada now; all because of the passport fiasco. I do agree that there are other things that the NDP can talk about. The person covering the Health Ministry can start talking about improving the health services in SVG. Patel should have continued his conversation about agriculture throughout the entire island. I hope he realizes he will be agriculture minister for the entire island and not just for North Leeward.
    I don’t believe the NDP realizes that the election campaign has started and they should be out there beating the drums. They should not wait for Ralph to surprise them. Right now he doesn’t know which way is up. There are too many scandals and even his supporters are questioning his leadership. Jomo is leading the charge with his admiration for “Ring the bell”. He was smart enough to leave out the last word “Comrade” .

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