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PM’s counsel waiting on answers from Cummings

PM’s counsel waiting on answers from Cummings


When Parliamentary Representative for West Kingstown Daniel Cummings gives the answers to three questions put to him by counsel for Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the public may finally know if the reconciliation process will move forward.{{more}}

Until then, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’ gesture of reconciliation towards Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace and Parliamentarian Daniel Cummings hangs in limbo.

Despite a response from Cummings, through his Lawyer Emery Robertson, there is no certainty as to what Cummings’ final answer is.

On January 30, Grahame Bollers, writing in response to correspondence from Robertson, asked three questions on Dr. Gonsalves behalf, before, his letter states, he gives further legal advice on the issue.

One question asked of Cummings if he took the same stance as his Political Leader Eustace, as articulated at the New Democratic Party press conference less than two weeks ago, when Eustace stated that he “personally could not accept an offer that saves me from litigation, while my colleagues, supporters and allies continue to be subjected to cost and rigours and litigation.”

The letter also asked of Robertson if Cummings ‘will publicly state that Dr. Gonsalves has a judgment against him in the instant defamation,’ and ‘Will Mr. Cummings state unequivocally whether or not he accepts the offer of Dr. Gonsalves not to act any further in the judgment which he has against Mr. Cummings.’

The letter went on to state: “Please, ask your client to stop playing political games on this matter. Perhaps a little humility may help. I reaffirm my client’s quest for reconciliation.

The questions were asked, because Robertson, in a letter to Bollers on January 23, indicated that Cummings had “no objection to the discontinuance” of the legal proceedings, and pointed out that Bollers and his client do not need the consent of the defendant to withdraw judgment.

Robertson’s letter did not indicate, however, among other things, if his client was accepting the offer.

When pressed by SEARCHLIGHT, a spokesperson for Robertson and Robertson law firm indicated that counsel would not be commenting on the matter any further, because it was still before the courts.

During a press conference on Tuesday, January 31, at Cabinet Room, Dr. Gonsalves reaffirmed that his offer and willingness to discontinue court claims against the men were in fact heartfelt, but persons following the issue may have to wait until court appearances by the men or their counsel to find out what the final verdict would be.

Dr. Gonsalves informed the public that his January 11 decision to instruct his Lawyers not to proceed with High Court judgments in his favour in separate defamation suits was a decision he made on impulse, following comments made by his Parliamentary colleague and Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel to Cummings during the 2012 budget debates.

“My brother Montgomery Daniel, who is an individual without malice, makes a statement in relation to Daniel Cummings’ back injury, which was unfortunate…. And immediately as it happened, a voice spoke in me and to me that I must do something,” Gonsalves explained.

“That’s why when ‘Gomery was finished, I asked for a suspension of the House, and I told my colleagues, I didn’t ask them…. Because I felt it for Daniel Cummings; he had an injury and an unfortunate statement was made….”

The Prime Minister further explained that he apologized for the statement made by Daniel, then made the reconciliation gesture to Cummings, then to Eustace.

He stated that he realized where the voice that spoke to him came from, some days after comments by the Opposition Leader, when received a visit from two pastors, and had discussions about the Old Testament prophet Samuel’s first encounter with God.

In relation to the Opposition Leader, the Prime Minister stated that apart from Eustace’s statements at the January 24 press conference, when he turned down the offer of reconciliation, the Opposition Leader has not communicated his decision in writing through counsel Mira Commissiong, as requested by Bollers, and suggested that the Eustace’s answer may not be final, and his instructions would be made plain when the matter comes up in court later this month.

“But I am reaffirming to Mr. Bollers, and he has carried out my instructions….”

“….I would wish all those involved would follow Eli’s injunction to Samuel; forget the politics for a moment… and get the inner voice, even though what the inner voice tells you is against what your rabid rank and file wants you to say or do.”

“Very often we make decisions through an impulse, but the impulse comes from within you, and the impulse will deliver a decision in accordance with the goodness which is in you.”