Attorney for embattled former Chief Executive Officer of the Marketing National Importing Board (MNIB) Ruel Edwards, in the civil suit filed against the Integrity Commission, has until this Friday (June 14) to make submissions to the court, having failed to meet the May 31 deadline as previously ordered by the court.
The matter came up last week Wednesday at the St. George’s No. 3 High Court before Belizean High Court Judge, Justice Godfrey Smith who scolded the parties because there was no submission from Hood, resulting in there being no trial by oral submission in the matter.
However, Justice Smith acceded to Hood’s request for extended time and gave a deadline of June 14 for the defense attorney to submit to the court the necessary documents and legal counsel for the Integrity Commission, Attorney-at-Law Ruggles Ferguson, who had no objections to the adjournment, was instructed to respond by June 21.
Speaking with reporters after the adjournment, Hood said he requested the adjournment because an agreement on the issues of fact and law as per the consent order did not materialise.
“So, we agreed today to have the trial by submissions on paper only…the order of the court is that we file all our submissions by the 14th of June and the court has given the Integrity Commission one week to respond if they need to, to our submission,” he added.
The essence of the claim is to decide whether or not the Integrity Commission acted within its legal jurisdiction to conduct an investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoings at the MNIB, while Edwards was in charge of the statutory body.
Edwards reportedly flew into the island for the court hearing from neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago where he is currently working and living.
Commenting on the matter, Attorney Ferguson noted that since the matter was filed all investigations into the corruption allegations by the Commission were put on hold.
“So, the ruling will guide us in going forward,” he said.
Justice Smith, who is on a 1-month stint on the Grenada Bench, is expected to hand down his ruling in the matter on June 28.