Lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste has confirmed that she prepared an affidavit resembling the one being circulated on the internet in which Gailene Farrell, mother of embattled model Yugge Farrell, 23, made a number of statements regarding the relationship her daughter allegedly had with Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves.
Bacchus-Baptiste said she prepared the document for her and Gailene’s protection after the woman came to her office unannounced on Jan. 18, 2017.
She told iWitness News on Saturday that while the copy circulating on the internet looks “genuine”, she is not sure who leaked it.
The lawyer, who is an opposition politician, said that she was very sceptical when Farrell, who is a supporter of the main opposition Unity Labour Party turned up at her office two weeks after Yugge’s arrest and court-ordered hospitalisation at Mental Health Centre.
“She came to my office [on Jan. 18] and waited over half an hour to see me. She came at first, I did not want to see her because I was a little bit sceptical but she waited and came back and she gave me that affidavit.
“I just kept it, I did not bother to release it or anything because I just wanted to wait, that’s all.
Bacchus-Baptiste said she does not know why Farrell wanted to give the affidavit.
“She is the one who came to me. The point is, she just came to me and gave me her story. And that’s not the only one. There are others who gave statements, too,” she said but did not comment further.
Asked what are the circumstances in which one would swear an affidavit like the one sworn by Farrell, Bacchus Baptiste said:
“They come, they say they have something to say and I say, ‘Listen, you have to put this in writing. I cannot just accept what you say except you are willing to put in writing.’ And she said, of course I am willing to put it like that. Especially something like that, I say, ‘I am not just going to accept your story. I don’t even know why you are here.’ I was very suspicious.”
“My office can tell you that when they told me that that mother was there, I said, ‘Me!?’ I don’t want to see her.’ I know that she is a ULP person, I don’t know why she is coming to me. I don’t want to see her. She went away, she came back, when she came back, I kept her waiting for more than half hour, and when she told me her story, I said, ‘Madam, you would have to put this in writing. Are you willing to do that?’ not only she said she was willing, she produced her ID, she produced the medicals, she gave me a certificate or something to show Yugge’s subjects. I think she passed eight subjects, she gave me the medical from the hospital, she gave me her national ID as proof.”
The affidavit was notarised by a yet to be identified person.
Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News that she does not want to say who the notary public is because she doesn’t want the person to become embroiled in the matter.
She told iWitness News that while she is also a notary public, she cannot take and swear the same affidavit.
“That would not be authentic. Certainly not. It is for her protection and my protection that you get a third party. That’s the way it’s done.”
The lawyer said she was not sure whether Farrell received a copy of the affidavit.
“I think the notary public would have given her one.”
She said she does not know if the copy circulating on the internet is an authentic copy, but added, “It looks genuine.”
The lawyer, however, said she is not sure who leaked the document.
“I am surprised because I have had that thing for over a week without telling anybody.”
Speaking to iWitness News last Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Bacchus-Baptiste’s Chambers, Gailene said that it was she who approached the lawyer asking for her help because she has known Bacchus-Baptiste since she was a little girl.
The lawyer, who is also a human rights activist, told iWitness News on Saturday that Gailene and one of her daughters has retained her to act on their behalf “to look after her (Yugge’s) human rights and mental health issues”.
Yugge, a 23-year-old model of Lowmans Bay, has been the subject of much public discussion after her arraignment on Jan. 5 on a charge that the previous day, at Kingstown, she called Camillo’s wife, Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, a “dirty b***h”.
Then Kingstown Magistrate Bertie Pompey granted an application by the Crown, in the absence of supporting arguments, that Farrell be sent for two weeks of psychiatric evaluation.
Lawyer Grant Connell, who is acting pro bono on Farrell’s behalf, objected in vain to the application.
When Farrell re-appeared in court last Monday, Jan, 22, the court was presented with a medical report saying she is unfit for trial.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams then asked the court to order that Farrell return to the psychiatric hospital for further treatment.
However, Connell asked the court to reject the report and grant his client bail, saying that a psychiatrist did not produce the report.
Rickie Burnett, the new Kingstown magistrate is expected to give his ruling today (Monday).
In the interim, Farrell was ordered to return to the Mental Health Centre.