Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has moved to the Court of Appeal in yet another bid to overturn the libel judgement against him that went in favour of Opposition Member of Parliament and former Housing Minister, Annette Ferguson.
Two weeks ago, the Full Court was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the Vice President’s appeal against the default judgment, resulting in the original judgment remaining in place.
Attorneys for the Vice President are now heading to the Court of Appeal.
In a Notice of Motion seeking special leave to appeal the Full Court’s decision, Mr. Jagdeo’s lawyer Devindra Kissoon, is arguing that the Full Court erred in law by failing to recall its divided judgement and reassign the matter to a bench of the Full Court consisting of an odd number of Judges, given the nature of the judgement where the two judges ruled differently.
Chief Justice Roxanne George had ruled to dismiss the appeal filed by Mr. Jagdeo, while Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry ruled for the matter to continue.
Mr. Jagdeo’s legal team is arguing that the legal effect of the divided Full Court judgement upholding the High Court decision is erroneous since the Chief Justice erred and misdirected herself in law. The Chief Justice had found among other things that the Vice President had no real prospect of defending the claim.
To further buttress their case, the Vice President’s legal team went back to the initial judgement of Justice Kurtzious and argued that the judge also erred in law by returning a default judgement against Mr. Jagdeo without considering all the grounds in his draft defence and questioned the several aspects of the initial ruling where the judge questioned the explanation of Mr. Jagdeo for not filing his defence.
The default judgement was awarded against Jagdeo on March 11 last year he failed to file a defence within 28 days of the filing of Ferguson’s Statement of Claim, which was done in January 2020.
Jagdeo was first represented by current Attorney General Anil Nandlall.