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Eustace defends decision not to remove Frederick as NDP senator

Eustace defends decision not to remove Frederick as NDP senator


Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has defended his decision not to revoke the senatorial appointment of Vynnette Frederick, even though she faces several charges in court.{{more}}

At a town hall meeting in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday, Eustace was asked how could he justify the continued prominence of Frederick in the New Democratic Party (NDP), given comments he made recently that he would have no tolerance of crime and corruption.

Frederick, who is also the public relations officer of the NDP, is before the court, facing nine charges of making false declarations, swearing falsely and fabricating evidence.

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.

“Miss Frederick has not been found guilty of any crime and her matter is still before the court,” Eustace told the gathering at the town hall meeting.

“… we have a very strange history, you know. There are persons whose cases are being nolle prosequi for rape,” he added, in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

On January 3, 2006, a policewoman, who had been assigned to the security detail of the Prime Minister, accused him of raping her. Private criminal complaints were brought against Gonsalves, but these charges were nolle prosequi by Director of Public Prosecution Colin Williams.

The decision by Williams to discontinue the case was upheld at the HIgh Court and the Appeal Court. A civil action was entered in the High Court by the police officer, but she later withdrew it.

When the rape allegation was made against Gonsalves, Eustace had called on him to step down, pending the determination of the case.