Categorized | National News

MP Faces Contempt Charge

Axed National Insurance Board (NIB) Chairman Greg Moss will soon find out whether he will be sent to jail for contempt of court.

On Monday, Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett advised the court that he would take the matter under advisement and give his decision “in short order.”

Attorneys for suspended NIB Director Algernon Cargill have applied to the Supreme Court for an order of committal to prison for Mr. Moss.

Mr. Cargill’s attorneys argue that Mr. Moss repeated serious allegations about their client in a tell-all press release that was emailed to the media.

In an affidavit filed by Mr. Cargill, he raises concerns about Mr. Moss’ spending habits.

In a bid to clear his name, Mr. Moss, in his press statement, claimed that it was Mr. Cargill who gave him an NIB corporate platinum Visa credit card.

Mr. Cargill is suing both Mr. Moss and NIB for defamation, wrongful and unfair dismissal and breach of the Data Protection Act.

As a result of the legal action, Mr. Moss is not allowed to discuss the allegations pertaining to Mr. Cargill.

But, in court yesterday, Mr. Cargill’s lead attorney, Alfred Sears said not only did Mr. Moss breach the order by repeating the allegations, but he also defamed his client.

He said the reason Mr. Moss wrote an email rather than put his retort in an affidavit is because he knew Mr. Cargill’s attorneys would have served notice to cross-examine him on the affidavit.

But, Mr. Moss’ attorney, Krysta Smith said there was no breach and she questioned how her client’s letter defamed Mr. Cargill.

In fact, she argued that no proper application for committal was before the chief justice because Mr. Cargill’s attorneys filed their application after leave was granted. Therefore, she said, the application expired.

“The leave is not and cannot be retroactive,” she argued.

Ms. Smith said there are strict guidelines for the committal process and attorneys cannot “make up the rules as they go along.”

“There is no proper application before you,” she told the chief justice, “But they want Moss imprisoned.”

Mr. Sears quickly responded to the assertion that his client wasn’t defamed.

“The press release gives the public the impression that these things were provided in the ordinary course of business. Cargill says it’s not ordinary. It’s inaccurate. It’s also defamatory,” he said.

During the hearing, Mr. Moss grew agitated. He kept getting up to speak to attorney Keod Smith, who Ms. Smith advised the court was only there “watching the brief on behalf of Mr. Moss.”

Mr. Moss also started speaking loudly enough to capture the bailiff’s attention.

The bailiff then walked over to him and instructed him to keep his comments to himself, reminding him that he was in a court of law.

Sir Michael said he would take the matter “under advisement” and let both sides know his decision in short order.

Outside the court The Bahama Journal attempted to get a comment from Ms. Smith, who declined.

Ms. Smith was assisted by attorney Shantelle Munroe and Mr. Sears was assisted by attorney Jeff Lloyd.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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