The battle between Tourism Communications Manager Anesia Baptiste and the Public Service Commission (PSC) wages on.
On Friday, May 7th, Baptiste's team of legal counsel, comprising Bertram Commissiong Q.C., Maia Eustace from the law chambers of Cato & Company and T&T Attorney Keith Scotland, made an application in (Judge's) Chambers to have a stay on any further disciplinary actions being taken against Baptiste, as she awaits hearing of a constitutional motion filed weeks earlier.
Justice Bruce Lyle presided over the hearing and ordered that disciplinary proceedings against the interdicted Communications Manager be stayed, until the determination of the application for interim relief on June 17.
Speaking with the media, Scotland said that his claimant's constitutional right and freedom of expression were unlawfully infringed by the 16 charges brought against her, hence her reason for challenging the PSC in the High Court in its original constitutional jurisdiction. The T&T attorney also said that Baptiste was aggrieved and dissatisfied.
Baptiste is charged with 16 counts of misconduct arising from utterances she is alleged to have made on the Opposition New Democratic Party's "No Campaign" platform for the referendum, as well as for her expressions of opinion in newspaper and on radio and television.
She is among others, charged with bringing the Public Service into disrepute and sullying the character of the Prime Minister.
The Public Service Commission's charges are presented by its Chairman, Cecil 'Blazer' Williams and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Lavern Grant.
The PSC is represented by attorneys Graham Bollers and Anthony Astaphan who could not be in attendance because he was at the Appellate Court on another matter.
Meanwhile, Calvert Baptiste, Anesia's husband, continues to articulate the belief that his wife is being politically victimized.
"My wife simply used her freedom of expressionů The consequences that spilled off from these 16 charges such as her inability to travel without permission is ridiculous. My wife has not committed any criminal act which requires the restriction of her freedom of movement to protect other persons in society and therefore the action brought against her is nothing short of inhumane," Calvert Baptiste told THE VINCENTIAN.
He continued, "I am hoping that justice will prevail and we get what we are asking from the court to stay the proceedings so that they cannot take any further action against Mrs Baptiste."
(Published in the Vincentian Newspaper Friday May 14th 2010)
TOP L-R: Maia Eustace, Keith Scotland, Anesia Baptiste and Bertrum Commissiong.
INSET: PSC Members with Chairman Cecil 'Blazer' Williams (center) and PS Lavern Grant (3rd from left)