Attorney Anil Nandlall has explained why he withdrew the contempt of court proceedings against embattled Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.
in a social media post, Nandlall explained that volumes of evidence of Mingo’s contemptuous actions have only emerged after the proceedings were filed.
See full explanation from Attorney Anil Nandlall:
Late in the afternoon, of March 12, 2020, the Contempt of Court application against Clairmont Mingo and GECOM was filed. It was drawn up and filed in the most exigent circumstances, that is, the very afternoon that Mingo began to violate the Chief Justice Orders which were granted on March 11, 2020.
The Contempt matter was fixed for hearing before the Chief Justice on March 13, 2020 at 10:30am. It is at this hearing that the Chief Justice went to great lengths in explaining to the Respondents, including Mr. Clairmont Mingo, the various ways by which her Orders can be obeyed by the use of the Statements of Poll. For example, he can either hold it up or he can project it on a screen, but whatever method he uses, it is the Statements of Poll which must be the basis of the tabulation and the other participants in the process must be allowed a fair opportunity of observing the process and see the Statements of Poll.
It is also at that hearing that the Chairperson of GECOM gave her first undertaking to do a recount of the ballots which she reiterated the following day at Diamond/Grove Magistrate’s Court.
No comment was made at that hearing about the application being deficient. In fact, the matter was adjourned for Mingo to continue the tabulation exercise in compliance with the Court’s kind and expansive exhortations.
I pause here to say that at this early stage, the very Contempt proceedings were able to achieve a great much in the national public interests.
Subsequently that day, after the Court adjourned, Mingo proceeded to commit even more egregious violations of the Court Orders and exhortations, culminating in declaring fraudulent results that very night. Obviously, this evidence was not available at the time when the Contempt proceedings were filed.
Subsequently, the National Recount exercise commenced and was concluded on June 9, 2020. This exercise produced volumes of evidence establishing Mingo’s contemptuous conduct. Again, most naturally, this evidence was not available at the time when the Contempt proceedings were filed. My applications for leave to file Supplementary Affidavits to put before the Court this new volume of evidence which was not available prior, were not favourably considered by the Court.
It is in those circumstances, that on June 10, 2020, I filed a Notice of Withdrawal of the Contempt proceedings. On that date, I also wrote a letter to the Registrar of the Honourable Chief Justice in which I explained the reasons for this course of action.