Opposition candidate and lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste has defended herself against allegations that she is using the Yugge Farrell saga for political ends.
On Saturday, Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News that Farrell’s mother and sister had retained her to look after the 23-year-old former model’s “human rights and mental health issues”.
iWitness News noted to Bacchus-Baptiste that since she is now a politician, this is further fuelling the accusations of politicisation of the case.
“You know what the answer to that is? When they cannot come up with an answer, they would say I am a politician. You know what my answer is?
Listen to Anselm Clouden, who is a very prominent lawyer from Grenada,” she said, referring to an interview that that lawyer did with Vincentian journalist Jerry S. George regarding the former model’s treatment by the local courts.
“… he (Clouden) said everything that I said: that the magistrate was wrong, he had no jurisdiction; that sending her for two weeks [of psychiatric evaluation] was way too long; that there was no jurisdiction of the Mental Health [Centre] to give her drugs; that it had to be done by a competent person, even that they had no right to say that she is not fit to plead, that the Bar Association should have said something; that the Human Rights [Association] should come out. Listen, that man said everything that I have been saying. Is he a politician in St. Vincent? That vindicates me,” Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News.
“Should I shirk from my responsibilities because I am an opposition politician? Should I?” said Bacchus-Baptiste who was last year appointed a senator for the main opposition New Democratic Party sometime after being chosen as candidate to represent the party in the next general elections, constitutionally due in March 2021.
“I have always said that I am here to fight for the underdog. I’ve always been doing that. Should I shirk now?” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
Yugge is expected to return to the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court tomorrow (Monday), where magistrate Rickie Burnett is slated to rule on submissions by the DPP that she be kept at the psychiatric hospital for further treatment.
Her lawyer, Grant Connell had argued last Monday that a psychiatric report deeming her unfit for trial was not prepared by a psychiatrist and should be rejected by the court.
He also asked for bail for his client who had pleaded not guilty when she was arraigned before Magistrate, Bertie Pompey on Jan. 5 on a charge that the previous day in Kingstown, she used abusive language, to wit, “you dirty b***h” to Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, wife of Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves.
Pompey had granted an application by the prosecution, made without supporting arguments, that Yugge be sent for two weeks of psychiatric evaluation.
Connell had argued strongly against the application.