FOURTH DAY IN COURT: Watson Duke

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Concern over time PSA contempt case taking

Proceedings on the fourth day of the contempt case against the Public Services Association (PSA), its president Watson Duke and public service officer Purdy Babwah got off to a slow start yesterday with the absence of Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes due to illness.
President of the Industrial Court Deborah Thomas-Felix expressed concern at the length of time it was taking to complete the matter.
“I am sympathetic to Mr Mendes’ condition but I am very concerned about judicial time,” Thomas-Felix stated. “Because of the nature of this matter, it should not go into the next law term in mid-September.”
Thomas-Felix joked that Mendes’ illness was certainly not as a result of health and safety concerns within the Industrial Court building.
In Mendes’ absence, attorney Michael Quamina led the defence team.
Attorney for the State Senior Counsel Russell Martineau resumed his re-examination of Chief Immigration Officer Gerry Downes at just after 10.30 a.m.
He asked Downes to clarify what he meant when in his response to Mendes’ questions on Tuesday, he stated that he had no evidence that Duke had told workers to leave. Martineau told the Court that this was a contradiction to what was written in Downes’ affidavit.
Downes stated that on the days employees left early, he could not say that Duke had told them to leave.
Downes was relieved at 11.27 a.m. and Chief Inspector of the Occupational Safety and Health Agency Gaekwad Ramoutar was placed in the witness box to attest to the authenticity of his affidavit.
The case was adjourned shortly afterward and will resume today at 9.30 a.m.
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