Members of the Legal Fraternity and Bar Association have begun to distance themselves from a Press Release issued by the Bar Association which sought to condemn the actions of a sitting learned Magistrate. One such Senior Member of the Legal Fraternity has publicly distanced himself . In an open letter sent to the St.Kitts-Nevis Bar Association Executive and Membership a note local Attorney at Law described the Bar Association release as “laced with bias” and a “clear rush to judgement ” . The Attorney, Terrance V Byron also suggested that the release be revised in order to reflect a more sober and fair-minded response.
The Letter reads in full:
Dear Madam President,
A Press Release issued today over your name concerning what you describe as “a most unfortunate incident” has come to my attention. I am sufficiently startled by what has been put out in the name of the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association to feel moved to comment on it and to bring my comments to the attention of the other members of the Association.
(1) Information reaching me is that “the incident” concerns an alleged contempt committed in the face of the Court. Yet, up to now, you have given no hint about what “the incident” is. You merely choose to say what was the result of it(!)
(2) I have heard that the member of the legal profession in “the incident” is Mr. Teshaun Vasquez. You have refrained (why I do not know) from naming him.
(3) Teshaun is a valued member of the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions. But you have not indicated what connection the Director of Public Prosecutions might have with “the incident”, or his possible basis for taking the extraordinary decision he has announced.
(4) You could have omitted the words “unbecoming of a Magistrate” and the Press Release would not have appeared to be so laced with bias again the Learned Magistrate.
(5) Your comment that the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association wholeheartedly supports the Learned Director of Public Prosecutions in his decision is entirely uncalled for and is almost certainly a conclusion reached without giving the Learned Magistrate an opportunity to be heard.
(6) You have stated the noble goals of the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association. But you are plainly taking sides in this matter, without even calling “the incident” what it is, an alleged contempt committed in the face of the Court.
I wish to state publicly that I do not agree with this Press Release. It does not represent a balanced viewpoint. It comes across as a rush to judgment and it would be my frank suggestion that it be revised and reissued to give a more sober and fair-minded statement of the position of the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association.
Terence V. Byron
BYRON & BYRON
Barristers-at-Law & Solicitors”
Sources have indicated that the matter between Magistrate Donna Harris and the DPP Valston Graham has been resolved after a meeting was convened and conducted by Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron Jr. All parties presented and a resolution was reached .