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May 23, 2012

Attorney says the witnesses decided to back down in petition case

Michael Young

In a release sent by Francis Fonseca and the PUP Freetown Committee, Fonseca says he welcomes the court’s decision and he is proud to have defended the will, votes, and integrity of the good people of the Freetown Division. But with all the evidence, audio tapes, sworn affidavits of several individuals, what happened to Lee Mark Chang’s case? After the proceedings Chang’s attorney, Michael Young explained that the court ordered fresh affidavits to be sworn but the witnesses were no longer willing to give their testimony to the court.

 

Michael Young, Attorney for Lee Mark Chang

“We applied to withdraw the petition and on their side, they applied to strike it out. What happened is that the witnesses who had sworn affidavits attesting what they had said was true and that was the basis upon which the application was granted. And when I said that they swore affidavits, the process was witnessed by us as attorneys—more than one attorney. And they swore before commissioners of the Supreme Court. And so the evidence was filed. As things have gone on and as happens to witnesses at times in this community as everybody knows, cold feet so to speak stepped in and I am not going to talk about the reasons and the basis why they have cold feet—we have some information in that regard—but it is not something that I wish to discuss except to say the petitioners themselves, they proceeded on the basis of the evidence which had been given to their attorneys and filed in court. After the court had ordered that witness statements be signed, in other words; fresh documents to be signed by these witnesses, the witnesses were not willing to sign. So there would have been no evidence to be presented to the court and the petitioners had no option but to withdraw and that is what happened?”

 

Adele Ramos, Amandala

“How many witnesses were supposed to file affidavits on your behalf?”

 

Michael Young

“Initially there were eight witnesses, my recollection is; that give information in relation to the case. And I think that about six or seven affidavits were filed. So for the purposes of the trial, there were six witnesses, however, one witness would give key or core evidence in relation to a matter and then that would be confirmed by another witness. So once that main witness was not willing to come forward, then that means that that evidence fell down. And I must say that there was still some evidence left that we could have proceeded with but with all the circumstances, we wanted the case to have a certain level of credibility. And it was decided, of course the petitioners themselves after discussion with attorneys, not to proceed.”

 

Young also said that Chang is regretful that the witnesses would not proceed to trial.

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