PM, Senior Counsel call on Grant, Brantley to apologize

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas speaks to the media following victory in the Appeal Court. (Left to Right) Former Attorney General Dr. Dennis Merchant; Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Lawyer Sylvester Anthony and Dr. Henry Browne.

ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 13TH 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas Monday called on Leader of the Opposition Hon. Mark Brantley and opposition party PAM Leader, Mr. Lindsay Grant, to apologize to former Attorney General Dr. Dennis Merchant after an Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, overturned his Contempt of Court conviction.

Saying “justice had been served,” Prime Minister Douglas said he knew all along that “my former Attorney General Dr. Dennis Merchant had been pushed through very difficult circumstances.”

“It is really a pity that the opposition at that time, used in my opinion, a situation to condemn my former Attorney General, basically humiliating him and I really think that he deserves an apology, not only from the People’s Action Movement (PAM) Leader (Mr. Lindsay Grant), but also from the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mark Brantley,” said Prime Minister Douglas when he arrived at the Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial and Legal Services Complex after the verdicts were delivered.

“I think that the former Attorney General has been vindicated. It is really a pity that the country had to go through these agonizing months for him to be vindicated,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He said the Appeal Court rulings concretize the confidence of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis in re-electing his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party for a fourth consecutive term on January 25th 2010 “after all that had transpired in the High Court in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

(Left to right) – Former Attorney General, Dr. Dennis Merchant; Minister of Education and Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty; Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Dr. Henry L. S. Browne; Mr. Sylvester Anthony and Mr. Anthony Astaphan S.C.

Lead Dominica-born attorney, Mr. Anthony Astaphan, S.C. shared the view of Prime Minister Douglas.

He said having listened to the Appeal Court judgments, it is clear that there was no basis for the allegation of contempt.

“Secondly, the judges seem to be very clear in their minds as well that the (High Court) Injunction, which formed the basis for all of this mayhem, was extraordinarily vague, did not apply to the Parliament (St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly) and did not go beyond the submission of the Constituency Boundary Report to His Excellency the Governor General,” said Mr. Astaphan.

He said this was “a very significant ruling and we have to look closely at the language of the judgements, because I think that is what the Court said and I would read it again to be definitive.”

Senior Counsel Astaphan joined Prime Minister Douglas in calling on PAM Leader Mr. Lindsay Grant and Hon. Mark Brantley of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) “and all of those who were part of a political lynch mob for the immediate resignation of Dr. Merchant.”

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