The final submissions in the whereabouts hearing of West Indies cricketer Andre Russell will be delivered today at the Jamaica Conference Centre, starting at 10.a.m.The hearing, which commenced on September 19, has overrun its course due to unforeseen delays; however, both parties were able to sufficiently submit their cases over the five-days hearing (although day three was postponed due to the absence of a panel member), and after what has been considered lengthy inquiry, Russell’s lead counsel, Patrick Foster and his Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) counterpart, Laxton Robinson, will submit their final arguments to the three man panel of Hugh Faulkner, Dr Majorie Vassell and Dixeth Palmer.JADCO is accusing Russell of failing to file his whereabouts on three occasions during a 12-month period. However, over the course of the hearing Russell’s team insisted that his busy international schedule made it difficult for him to fulfil his obligation with the anti-doping agency and maintained that the player did all he could to try and meet the requirements and deadlines.FILING FAILURESRussell lawyers’ main argument has been based on the last two of the cricketer’s three filing failures, both of which came in the July – September quarter. The alleged filing failures are for January 1, 2015, July 1, 2015, and July 25, 2015.Robinson has argued that the 28-year-old was tardy and negligent in submitting his whereabouts information to the national anti-doping body, and that JADCO readily provides assistance to those that need it; claiming also that the all-rounder made no attempt to access this information.The hearing also heard testimonies from JADCO’s executive director Carey Brown, Nadia Vassell and Tajae Smith, as well as Judith Lue and Russell himself.Russell faces a two-year ban from cricket if found guilty.- L.S.
-says full page ad showing what orders Court refused ‘deceptive’-questions quality of legal advice being received by PresidentA full-page advertisement taken out by the Attorney General’s Chambers and appearing in sections of the media on Sunday has been denounced by former Attorney General Anil Nandlall as a transparent attempt to misinform the public about what happened at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).President David GrangerAttorney General Basil WilliamsFormer AG Anil NandlallPart of the advertisement taken out by the AG ChambersThe advertisement, titled “What PPP/C applied to the CCJ for vs what the CCJ ruled”, compares the various consequential orders the PPP had requested from the CCJ on the No Confidence Motion cases, including a prayer that the CCJ order elections be held by September 18, and various snippets of the regional court’s ruling.Nandlall noted that the AG used “politically convenient and selective” parts of the judgements out of context in order to suit the Government’s agenda and justify their ignoring the intent of the CCJ ruling.“The clear objective of this advertisement is to demonstrate that the specific orders sought by the Leader of the Opposition and Zulfikar Mustapha were refused by the CCJ. However, the author deceptively omits the parts of the judgements which say emphatically that those orders were not granted because the Constitution itself specifically and adequately provides for what must happen when a No-Confidence Motion is passed in the National Assembly.“Further, the advertisement also deceptively omits to inform the public of the reliefs which the Attorney- General & his bandwagon sought at the CCJ, and that none (was) granted,” Nandlall said.“It is clear that the author wishes to portray that because the specific orders prayed for were refused, then the judgements of the CCJ can be ignored by the Government,” he declared.The Government had, among other things, sought for the regional court to grant an order that would allow the President, Prime Minister, Ministers and Cabinet to remain in office until a new President is sworn in after elections are held. In their submissions, the Government side had cited Article 106 (7) of the Constitution to defend this position. The CCJ did not grant this order.In describing the Government’s advertisement, Nandlall used the analogy of a domestic violence victim approaching the court for a restraining order against her husband, only for the Magistrate to refuse to grant it because actual bodily harm is already a crime, and for the husband to then believe he can continue his assault because a restraining order was not granted.“There is no other way of describing such line of reasoning other than to say that it is an expression of unparalleled dunce-ness,” Nandlall wrote. “This type of reasoning characterises the quality of legal advice the President receives, which has now culminated with the President convincing himself that the CCJ judgement has conferred upon him a right to submit names to the Leader of the Opposition, which must (then be) included in the final list of six names to be submitted to the President for the appointment of a Chairman of GECOM.“In other words, the President is insisting upon submitting names to himself for appointment by him. The very thing he did in respect of the appointment of Justice Patterson, which the CCJ ruled was flawed and in contravention of Article 161 (2) of the Constitution,” Nandlall added.What the CCJ actually saidWhen CCJ President, Justice Adrian Saunders, read the court’s final ruling on the matter during the consequential hearing on July 12, he had said that when the No Confidence Motion was passed on December 21, 2019, Article 106 of the Constitution had immediately been activated.Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”“Upon the passage of a vote of no confidence, the Article requires the resignation of the Cabinet, including the President. The Article goes on to state, among other things, that ‘notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office, and that an election shall be held within three months or such longer period as the National Assembly shall, by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly, determine’,” Justice Saunders had told the court, during which time Attorney General Basil Williams had personally been in attendance in the Trinidad-based courtroom.Further, the CCJ President had noted that with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) also responsible for the conduct of elections, it therefore means that the elections body also “must abide by the provisions of the Constitution.”He had gone on to point out that elections should have been held on March 21, 2019 following the December passage of the Opposition- sponsored motion, but that process was on “pause” pending legal proceedings.That process, Saunders had added, was no longer on pause following the court’s June 18, 2019 ruling which upheld the validity of the No Confidence Motion, and thus the need for fresh elections had been triggered.This means that General and Regional Elections would have to be held on or before September 18, 2019 to be consistent with the three months’ constitutional deadline.When it comes to the CCJ’s failure to issue consequential orders setting an election date, Saunders had said that it was not the regional court’s role to do so; but rather, this must be up to the politicians in Guyana, whom the court trusted would act responsibly.The parliamentary Opposition has so far accused the Government of holding on to power illegally, and doing anything but acting responsibly.