Kay Bacchus Baptiste, the lawyer for Cornelius John, a 62-year-old who was shot, beaten, and threatened on his property on April 13, says, the leave of absence for one month by Senator Ashelle Morgan, one of two persons charged in her clients’ matter, should have been done a long time ago. However, it is the least that she could do right now.
“It’s the minimum action she could take in the circumstances, the bare minimum; I don’t see the necessary remorse, contrition, or even regret for what has happened to Mr John.”
“It’s a bit presumptuous to go for one month; it is like playing with the emotions of Vincentians, I repeat, it is the bare minimum to satisfy any kind of moral obligation. So I’m afraid I have to disagree that there is no moral obligation, I think there is a heavy moral obligation, and it makes me believe that her seeking leave of absence is not genuine”.
Bacchus Baptiste questioned the reasons behind Morgan’s request for a month’s leave of absence, saying that the senator is a lawyer, and she Bacchus Baptiste does not know of many cases that can finish within one month.
“So she (Morgan) is expecting the matter to finish within a month, it raises some deep concern as to her foreknowledge may be of the outcome of this matter, that is what jumps out at me, that I said it is the barest minimum she could ask for, and the fact that she states one month as a lawyer being very cognizant of the court system and what happens there.”
See Senator Morgan’s Letter To Speaker Of The House
28th June 2021
Rochelle Forde Speaker of the House of Assembly Kingstown St Vincent
Dear Madam Speaker
Re: Leave of Absence
In light of the charge that I have been called upon to answer in the Magistrate’s Court, I hereby request to take a one (1) month leave of absence from the sittings of the House of Assembly, in the first instance.
While there is no legal or moral obligation for me to take such leave, I have chosen to do so voluntarily because I do not wish for the upcoming trial to distract from or overshadow the business of the House of Assembly.
I hope that the trial of the matter proceeds and concludes in the shortest time possible so as to negate any necessity for further application for a leave of absence.
Ashelle Morgan Senator Deputy Speaker House of Assembly