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May 23, 2012

Election Petition against P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca fails

Eamon Courtenay

The residuals of the March seventh general elections may finally be fading away. The Martin Galvez and Mark King petition died of natural causes and the Elvin Penner petition will be decided on Thursday, but today the election petition filed against P.U.P. Leader and Freetown Area Representative Francis Fonseca was struck out of court.  When first brought, the petition had all the trimmings of a scandal. Michael Young, attorney for the United Democratic Party’s Lee Mark Chang filed the petition on the grounds that agents of Fonseca, namely Albert Vaughn and Hugh Bodden had bribed voters of the Freetown Division where Fonseca had defeated Chang. During the submissions, Young tendered affidavits in which seven persons claimed they accepted payoffs in order to vote for Fonseca. One potential witness even offered an audio recording of an alleged payoff. But Fonseca’s first attorney, Said Musa pointed out flaws in the affidavits, including the fact that at least one of the persons who swore he voted in the Freetown Division as a result of bribery, was not registered in that division. This morning, Fonseca nor Chang were in court. But attorney Eamon Courtenay, who took over the case on behalf of Fonseca, said Chang had even attempted to withdraw the frivolous petition, but today the matter was struck out by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Francis Fonseca

“We are certainly happy that the matter has been struck out by the learned Chief Justice.  I think that it’s a disgrace that Lee Mark Chang is now prepared to accept the decision of the people. They spoke very loudly and rejected his candidacy. He brought this scandalous petition before the court and then when the appointed hour turned up, I understand that he is not even in the country. That is the type of respect he has for this court. He’s not even here, his witnesses are not here; it was stillborn, it was a disgrace, it was an abuse of the process of the court. He had given notice that he wanted to withdraw, but in order to withdraw, you have to advertise in the gazette that you intend to withdraw which had not been done. We had filed two applications to have the petition struck out. And so they conceded that we would succeed on the basis that no evidence had been brought forward to support the vulgar allegations made by Mister Lee Mark Chang. The truth of the matter is, as came out in court, the witnesses were all employees of Mister Lee Mark Chang. They know that these allegations were not true. And we were ready to prove to the court by cross examination that there was nothing more than a naked attempt by Lee Mark Chang to get the court to give him a victory which the people denied him. Fortunately, they did the appropriate thing and at least had the decency to come to the court and admit that they had no evidence against the Honorable Francis Fonseca. They were supposed to file their evidence on the eleventh. They did not file it and so we waited a few days to see whether they would apply for an extension. When they didn’t, we filed an application for the whole matter to be dismissed. On eighteenth, they filed their application saying that they want to withdraw and indicating to the court and to us that they didn’t have the evidence to support the petition. The point I was trying to make to the Chief Justice was that we filed to have it struck out even before they made their application to withdrawn. This type of behavior ought to be condemned and the way the court condemned this type of behavior is by an appropriate award of cost. The Chief Justice didn’t agree with me and he made an award of seven thousand five hundred. And so we expect a check from Mister Lee Mark Chang promptly on his return.”

 

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1 Response for “Election Petition against P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca fails”

  1. Tarasbulba says:

    Another waste of time and Taxpayers money with this damn politricks. There are more important issues to deal with such as senseless murders of innocent people, Our Country’s economy, very high rate of unemployment, Corruptions & nepotism, abandonment of certain districts because of their political affiliation with one party or the other, and favoritism within our governmental structure. Come on, you the UDP Government were given a second chance to lead our country supposedly in the right direction, then get to work and fix everything I have mentioned. Even though I have a Standard 2 education, I know the difference between bs and a bucket of $#!% (nonsense).

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