Lawyers for former CLICO chairman Leroy Parris have filed a constitutional motion to get the High Court to unfreeze his assets, arguing that the delay in hearing a previous application to set aside the order is a violation of his rights.
His legal team, led by Queen’s Counsel Hal Gollop, not only wants the court to set aside the freeze order granted more than two months ago, but is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
The constitutional motion filed against the Attorney General was not heard when Gollop, who is working on the case with fellow Queen’s Counsel Vernon Smith as well as Michael Yearwood and Steve Gollop, went to court. He will have to return in another week, on April 7.
“We are asking the court to find that the delay in giving our clients Leroy Parris and [his company] Branlee Consulting Services Inc. [the opportunity] to get back to court to have a hearing of their application to set aside the interim order that froze their assets, is a violation of his rights to a fair hearing within reasonable time,” Gollop told Barbados TODAY.
He noted that the order to freeze Parris’ assets was made on January 27 after an application by CLICO’s judicial manager Deloitte Consulting Limited and more than two months later, he had not been able to get back to court to try to have that reversed.
The senior attorney explained that on one occasion, Justice William Chandler who gave the original order recused himself from hearing the case.
Another judge, Justice Jacqueline Cornelius who was in line to preside over the case, was rejected by Parris’ legal team on the grounds that her husband, Queen’s Counsel Ralph Thorne, had made adverse public comments on the matter on political platforms.
Since his assets were frozen by the court, the former CLICO boss has lamented that he had been experiencing hardship.
In a February application to the court, asking that his assets be released, Parris said the court order had prevented him and his company from meeting their “usual living and business expenses”.