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Senator Frederick to appear in court to answer charges today

Senator Frederick to appear in court to answer charges today

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Embattled opposition senator Vynnette Frederick will return to court today, to face charges relating to three counts of perjury.{{more}}

The matter was expected to commence last Friday, November 16, but the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court did not sit at the time and the matter was pushed forward to today’s date.

The charges, which Frederick has pleaded not guilty to, state that on January 10, 2011, at Kingstown, the senator made “a false declaration before Sonya Young, Chief Magistrate, a person authorised to take a declaration upon a matter of public concern, under circumstances, that a false declaration, if committed in a judicial proceeding would have amounted to perjury contrary to section 96 of the criminal code”.

The other two charges also indicate that Frederick made similar false declarations, before Fay James, on June 16, 2011 and May 23, 2012.

The charges stem from a judgement handed down by the OECS Court of Appeal on May 31, 2012, which indicated that Frederick intentionally gave evidence which was untrue, in a complaint she brought against Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, following the 2010 general elections.

In Frederick’s complaints against Gonsalves, which were made under Section 51, Subsection 3 of the Representation of the People Act, related to alleged comments made by Gonsalves at a public meeting of the Unity Labour Party at Park Hill on August 29, 2010.

In a sworn affidavit on June 16, 2011, Frederick stated that the context in which Gonsalves used the word “tomboy” in relation to her, must be viewed against the chants from other persons in attendance at the political meeting of the word “lesbian”. It was only after those chants, she said that Gonsalves used the word “tomboy”.

Frederick, in her declarations, swore that she had listened to the tape and when Dr Gonsalves made the comment, she heard persons in attendance saying “lesbian” and “she love woman”.

Frederick later swore in an affidavit of May 23, 2012 that the word “lesbian” was “inadvertently inserted” in her earlier affidavit.

If convicted, Frederick faces up to six years in prison, if the sentences run consecutively.

Attorneys Bayliss Frederick, Nicole Sylvester, Mira Commissiong, Samantha Robertson and Maia Eustace represent Frederick.

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