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Jerry Edwin splits with Keith Mitchell after one court sitting

Attorney Jerry Edwin – is no longer involved in the libel case

Former Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has been left without a lawyer in a libel suit brought against current Attorney General Claudette Joseph after American-trained attorney-at-law Jerry Edwin quit after making a single appearance in court on the matter.

THE NEW TODAY has seen court documents filed by Edwin seeking to withdraw from the case in which Dr. Mitchell had instituted libel proceedings against AG Joseph following statements she made about him in connection with the failed Shrimp Farm project in St Mark.

According to a well-placed legal official, the former Prime Minister who is the Political Leader of the opposition New National Party (NNP) is “mad” with the decision taken by Edwin “to consent without consulting his client” on an application made by the sitting Attorney General for the default judgment obtained against her to be set aside before a sitting held in front of a Court Master.

“Keith (Mitchell) is not happy with that as that matter should have been argued,” he said.

When the matter came up for hearing on June 15 before Master Alvin Pariagsingh, there appeared to be concern over the legal status of Attorney Edwin in the matter.

One of the orders issued by the Master in the case was for Edwin “to formalise his representation in this matter by filing a change of Attorney” in order to represent Dr. Mitchell in the proceedings.

About two weeks earlier, Dr. Mitchell had fired attorney Nigel Stewart who had carried the matter from its inception and was able to secure the Default Judgment in 2021.

Master Pariagsingh ruled that the court was of the view that “notwithstanding the concession of Counsel (Edwin) for the Claimant that the judgment was irregularly obtained, the defendant (AG Claudette Joseph) had met the threshold for the grant of an Order setting aside the Default Judgement…”.

Within days of the ruling, Edwin took the decision to totally withdraw from the case and to pave the way for Dr. Mitchell to begin the search for a new attorney-at-law to represent him in the case.

The dismissal of Nigel Stewart & Associates came against the backdrop of the fall-out between Dr. Mitchell and St. Andrew North-west Member of Parliament Delma Thomas who quit the NNP just over a month ago to join forces with the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

Kindra Maturine-Stewart who is now a sitting Magistrate had shown up at a public meeting of MP Thomas just over a month ago in which she (Thomas)signaled her intention to become a member of the Congress party of new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

The female barrister had served as Minister of Legal affairs in the 2018-22 NNP regime but lost her Carriacou & Petite Martinique seat in the general election held a year ago to NDC’s Tevin Andrew.

Maturine-Stewart had accepted an invitation to serve the opposition party in the Senate but it was withdrawn one day before she was due to be sworn in by Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade.

According to MP Delma Thomas, the decision was taken after Maturine-Stewart had expressed her feelings that the aging 76-year old Dr. Mitchell should step down as Leader of the party in favour of a younger person.

Maturine-Stewart has also resigned as a member of NNP.

According to legal sources, the decision of Dr. Mitchell to fire Nigel Stewart & Associates is definitely linked to the Kindra Maturine/Delma Thomas issue.

The aging NNP boss reportedly told Stewart that he was not comfortable with him doing the case because his wife was now appointed to serve as a Magistrate and had a relationship with AG Sen. Joseph.

Sen. Joseph had filed papers in the Supreme Court Registry indicating that the High Court did not give her leave to file a defense in the matter brought against her by Dr. Mitchell.

In January 2021, the High Court dismissed Joseph’s appeal after she missed the deadline set by the Court and Attorney Stewart sought a judgment in default.

Dr. Mitchell had filed the lawsuit after Joseph claimed he was an investor in the failed shrimp farm project in St. Mark.

The ex-Prime Minister denied that he was an investor in the project which had attracted millions of dollars in funds from the sale of Grenadian passports through the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.

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