Prime Minister, Roosvelt Skerrit, has mocked a payment proposal made by Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, to Chartered Accountant Kieron Pinard-Byne in the seemingly never ending saga stemming from a defamation court matter.
The Privy Council had originally ruled that Linton should pay Pinard-Byrne’s bill of costs of £45,992.19 and a letter from Linton’s attorney indicated that he had already paid 43.5 percent (25, 992.12 sterling) of that cost.
The letter proposed that Linton pays $300 per month on the outstanding amount.
At a town hall meeting recently, it appears Skerrit could not resist poking fun at the proposal.
“Linton is about 60 years, so I mean the man will be older than Ma Pampo when he will pay that money back,” he stated, referring to Dominica’s oldest woman who, according to reports, was 128 years old when she died.
He said Linton abused and scandalized people on the radio and then he put on a “triple suit and going England in the Privy Council and fight a case and then you coming to Dominica and tell the man you only have $300 a month.”
According to him, it will take Linton 44 years to pay up.
But Skerrit did not end there and went on to refer to a court matter between Linton and government ministers.
“I will tell you before I move on that one of the cases which the ministers brought against him, where we asked for a million dollars. I am saying to Linton tonight that when the court makes its pronouncements on how he has to pay Roosevelt Skerrit, if you don’t have money Mr. Linton, you have to come and work on my farm for me,” he said.
For his part, Pinard-Byrne has described the payment offer as “a thundering disgrace.”
“He ought to be ashamed of himself…” he told state-owned DBS Radio.
The matter centers around the Layou River Economic Citizenship Program and the Layou River Hotel project and goes back to 2002 when Pinard-Byrne sued Linton because of an article he published on a website and statements made about the same program on a radio show, on which Linton, who was a journalist then, was a guest.
The case eventually ended up in the London-based Privy Council which ruled in Pinard-Byrne’s favour.