Internet Radio

Granger appeals exclusion from budget cuts case

APNU’s Basil Williams and Ronald Bulkan

Lawyers for Leader of the Opposition David Granger have filed an appeal against acting Chief Justice Ian Chang’s ruling to exclude him from the 2012 budget cuts case.

This was confirmed on Thursday by Granger’s attorney in the matter Basil Williams.

Justice Chang ruled on June 19 last that Granger and Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh be excluded from the case because they enjoyed immunity as parliamentarians, a decision that vexed the Opposition Leader’s APNU since it shut them out of the matter. The judge further ruled that Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman, also named in the government’s challenge, did not have the same immunity and remained a party in the case.

Williams said the appeal was filed on June 25. He added that the grounds of the appeal included Chang’s refusal to hear arguments from Granger’s attorneys on his exclusion and that the opposition leader had waived his immunity as allowed under the Constitution.

“The Chief Justice’s decision was arbitrary and unreasonable,” the attorney said. He added that they expect the appeal to be fast tracked.

According to Williams, excluding the APNU from the case would not resolve the issue of whether the opposition could cut the budget with its parliamentary majority.

“Putting us out will not resolve that matter because we’re still in parliament and we’re saying we could cut the budget.”

The case is expected to continue on Friday when legal arguments are set to begin.