Dr Maria Agard will have to wait until the New Year to have her day in court.
Her suit against her former party, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), was adjourned until April 7, 2016 when the matter came up before Justice Olson Alleyne in Supreme Court No. 11 this morning.
The dentist and her legal team of Hall Gollop, QC, and Lynette Eastmond, were greeted by reporters as they exited the glass doors of the Supreme Court just after 10 a.m., following the session in chambers.
Dr Agard, the Member of Parliament for Christ Church West, was expelled from the BLP on November 22. She is seeking damages for her expulsion, as well as reinstatement.
“This is the first day of the hearing and adjournments were sought by counsel for the defendants to put their house in order as it were and a number of preliminary steps have been taken to set the matter in motion. It has been adjourned by consent to April 7, 2016,” Gollop revealed.
When asked if he felt the case would be held in open court, he said he saw no reason why it wouldn’t.
“This is a matter which, as I understand it, has been made under fixate claim and I do not see any bar to the matter being heard in open court. But I will always be advised about that by the presiding officer, but all court matters essentially are public matters and I don’t see why this one should be any different,” he said.
In a brief comment, Dr Agard would only say: “I am looking forward to my day in court. Of course there is so much that still needs to be said. So I will just take advice from counsel and prepare myself accordingly.”
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and BLP General Secretary Jerome Walcott, who are both named in the suit, exited shortly after in the presence of their legal representatives Roger Forde, QC, and Leslie Haynes, QC.
When pressed for a comment on the day’s proceedings, Mottley would only say: “You argue a case once in court. When that chance comes our lawyers will argue it in court.”
Forde added: “Serious lawyers don’t argue their cases in the press”.
While sidestepping further questions about the case, Mottley told members of the media there were more important matters to be discussed, such as the fact that persons in St Joseph had been without water for over a week and employees of the National Housing Corporation had not yet been paid.
“I really thought you were coming to give voice to the fact that St Joseph has not had water for the last eight days and the children are home on vacation and the circumstances are truly dire, and to ask why is it that the BWA has not put a 24-hour cycle in place for the delivery of water for the distressed communities in St Joseph and St Lucy.
“I thought one of the others might come to ask why the NHC staff has not been paid with tomorrow being the end of shopping for Christmas. And perhaps you might want to catch Mr Gollop and ask him whether he might use his good offices as a former chairman of the NHC to ensure that those people can be paid before Christmas Eve,” Mottley stated.
She also lambasted the state-run Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation for not attending any of her press conferences during the year.