A former senator for the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has won her appeal against nine criminal charges brought against her on July 7, 2013, hours after the court dismissed six similar charges against her.
Vynnette Frederick, a lawyer, won the Crown when the Court of Appeal, sitting in St. Lucia, allowed her appeal.
“I’m actually in a very celebratory mood,” Frederick said on New Times, her party’s daytime programme on NICE Radio on Tuesday, when she announced the decision of the court.
Frederick had been charged with making false declarations, swearing falsely, and fabricating evidence.
She had appealed on the grounds that the nine charges were an abuse of the process and that she had been formerly acquitted of the charges.
The six charges dismissed against Frederick on July 7, 2013, related to evidence that Frederick had submitted as part of private complaints against Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves after the December 2010 general elections.
Those private criminal complaints were thrown out of court and in September 2012, Frederick was charged “that on January 10, 2011, at Kingstown, she did make a false declaration before Sonya Young, a magistrate, a person authorised to take a declaration upon a matter of public concern, under circumstances that the false declaration, if committed in a judicial proceeding, would amount to perjury”.
Frederick, an attorney and former candidate for the NDP, was also charged with making false declarations on June 16, 2011 and May 23, 2012, before Faye James.
On Feb. 15, 2013, three counts of swearing falsely before Sonya Young and Faye James were brought against the senator.
Magistrate Rickie Burnett, sitting at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, upheld an April 2013 defence submission that the six charges against the senator lacked details and particulars.
He dismissed the matter and told Frederick she was free to go.
Police re-arrested the senator about three hours later in a restaurant in Kingstown, where she was having lunch with her attorneys, relatives, and members of the NDP, including then party and opposition leader, Arnhim Eustace.
Speaking about the court of appeal ruling on Tuesday, Frederick said, “… the outcome is that my appeal was allowed, so, essentially I have won the appeal with cost to be assessed within the next month”.
Frederick, a former spokesperson and candidate or the NDP, further said: “… the charges against me are officially done for and we’ve had success”.
“I just want to tell all of the persons who have been over the six years communicating with my family, my parents, and with me as well, I really appreciate the support and wanted you to know the good news,” she said.