Justice Ann-Marie Smith is set to rule on whether Mark Vanterpool will be sworn-in as the Fourth District Representative in the next two weeks.
“Judgement will be ready on the 2nd of May,” Justice Smith said at the High Court on Thursday.
Vanterpool’s attorney Patrick Thompson recommended the May date. He told at the time of the recommendation that the two-week timeframe was not meant to delay or, “to detract from the urgency of the matter”.
Who will pay legal fees?
In the meantime, the issue of which party will be responsible for paying any legal fees associated with the case will be decided on the same day. Both parties have hired prominent lawyers to defend them.
Vanterpool’s team consists of Thompson and Queen’s Counsel Edward Fitzgerald of the UK while Willock retained the services of Veritas Law, a firm owned by Valston Graham — the Director of Public Prosecutions in St Kitts. Anand Ramlogan and Jared Jagroo are the attorneys of that firm representing Willock’s interests.
Willock’s attorneys contend that Vanterpool clearly wanted to resign when he sent the letter addressed to the Clerk of the House of Assembly. They’ve therefore argued that a by-election ought to be held for District Four.
Meanwhile, Vanterpool’s attorney argued that he had no constitutional right to resign when he did. They also said their client’s resignation was constitutionally invalid because it was not addressed to the Speaker of the House.
The controversy started on March 5 after Vanterpool, who won the Fourth District seat, submitted the resignation. After submitting the letter, he was advised that the letter should have been addressed to the Speaker of the House and not the Clerk.
Vanterpool then had a change of heart and now wishes to be sworn-in. However, Willock acknowledged the letter and refused to have Vanterpool sworn-in.
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