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Oct 17, 2017

Julius Espat Continues Fight over House Suspension; Case Adjourned by Court of Appeal

He is back in the House of Representatives, but Cayo South area representative Julius Espat still has an axe to grind with the way he was put out on the afternoon of August twenty-sixth, 2016. His case with then-Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte was called before the Court of Appeal on Monday afternoon, but at the request of the Government side, it was adjourned for a date to be fixed. Viewers may recall that Espat was “named” at the request of Peyrefitte after using unparliamentary language during an address. He had to be dragged from the National Assembly by police after refusing to leave his seat. There was mistreatment as well for members of the media and other parliamentarians. But while he returned following some mediation in January, Espat is appealing the decision of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to strike out his claim last December that he was not properly suspended or given a chance to make amends. According to Espat himself, “The reinstatement has nothing to do with the fact that the suspension was not done following the rule of law.” That’s as much as he and attorney Magali Marin-Young said following the strike-out, which we reproduce here.

 

Magali Marin-Youn

Magali Marin-Young, Attorney for Julius Espat [File: December 6th, 2016]

“Clearly, the client is disappointed; [he] has expressed the desire to proceed with an appeal.  Disappointed, because we did not feel that this was a clear cut case where the Judiciary could not intervene in parliamentary affairs – especially since there is serious allegation of breach of fundamental rights, and the Speaker not lawfully suspending the Member of Parliament for Cayo South.”

 

Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South [File: December 6th, 2016]

“It’s a good thing for people to see; this has been played out on the television, everybody saw what happened, and so it’s very disappointing. It’s very disappointing, because I am not defending Julius Espat in this case; I’m representing thousands of people. And the system is the problem – I insist, I have been insisting from the day – we are fighting against a system that is holding us down; and if it’s holding a representative down, imagine how it is holding the regular man on the ground out there down. And we will continue our fight, because it is a just one.”

 

Along with Senior Counsel Magali Marin-Young, Espat is represented by Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, while Solicitor General Nigel Hawke and Crown Counsel Agassi Finnegan appear for Peyrefitte.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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