September 25, 2022

The Editor Speaks: I have to feel sorry for the Hewitts

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I have known Gordon Hewitt for a very long time and I was responsible for handing over my reign as the Pirates Week Governor to him, especially as he had a likeness to one of our past governors.

I have always considered him a friend.

I, however, did not support his challenge to the election of Tara Rivers to a West Bay seat in the 2013 election. I thought it was crazy to appeal the decision of the Chief Justice who ruled against him when sections in the election law state in black and white the Grand Court decision is final in an election case and no appeals are allowed.

That Gordon was anticipating that his wife, Velma, would have automatically taken up Rivers seat if he had won was not my opinion at all. I am convinced there would have had to have been a bye-election and there was no sure thing Velma would have won that. Rivers has many supporters and they were very angry at the challenge.

Where some of our news outlets get the opinion the Chief Justice’s ruling was a surprise ruling from is also a mystery. If he had ruled against Rivers in the first instance I would have been the one to be surprised.

I am no lawyer and neither are the other news writers. Just because the Attorney General Samuel Bulgin had given an opinion in the case of Richard Christian that had some similarities it was not a trial and every case is different. An opinion is not a trial nor a judgement and not all the facts are known.

It has always been my conjecture that the Hewitts were put up to making the challenge by the UDP leader McKeeva Bush and I have no doubt in my mind he had promised he would pay for some if not all of the legal costs. I just could not see how Gordon and his wife had the resources to pay for them all. They would have had to have a secret income stashed away they could afford to lose.

And lose they have. Dearly.

They are now facing bankruptcy and financial ruin and the court affidavits at their hearing suggest the Hewitts made it clear to Bush and the UDP leaders that they did not have the money needed for the challenge. Businessman Rupert Moxam, who was another unsuccessful UDP candidate in the last election, albeit in George Town, was another person named in the affidavits who is alleged to have said he would also help towards covering all the legal costs.

The Hewitts claims are also backed up by local lawyer, Steve McField, who had instructed well-known Jamaican legal expert Abe Dabdoub to lead the case.

However, neither the UDP (now the CDP) nor Moxam have come forward to pay the legal bills.

The Hewitts also claim Bush had told them the UDP could not be seen to be the ones mounting a challenge and they needed Gordon’s name as an elector and nothing more.

I can only hope and pray for them the monies do come and they do not become bankrupt. They are nice people and believed what they were told.

Yes. I do feel very sorry for them.

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