Former government minister falls ill during trial, remains hospitalised

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Attorney-at-law and former government minister Vere Bird Jr. was recuperating at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre Saturday after suffering a seizure during the second day of his trial and that of his brother, former prime minister, Lester Bird.

The Bird brothers and five other members of the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) – Deputy Leader Gaston Browne; Molwyn Joseph; General Secretary, Mary Claire Hurst; head of the Youth Arm Sharon Kentish and Jim Galloway – are on trial for violating the Public Order Act.

Bird Jr., 73, was flanked by co-accused Hurst and Joseph when he began convulsing. Several people in the courtroom including his son Vere Bird III and niece Rika Bird, both members of the defence team rushed to his assistance.

The Emergency Medical Services were summoned he was taken to the hospital where he remains under close observation.

The seven ALP members are alleged to have spoken at an Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU) rally on May 4 last year without the necessary permission from the Commissioner of Police, Thomas Bennett.

They have all pleaded not guilty for violating the Act.

Due to Bird Jr.’s illness, the matter was adjourned to February 18.

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  1. D/can to the bone( foregin)
    February 7, 2010

    This is p politics no one is immuned from persecution or is above the law . That how it is in a democratic country . In the UK the MPs who claims all these expenses from the state had to pay it back , some are even facing the courts as a criminal of fence and may end up in prison.

  2. Celus
    February 7, 2010

    Considering the age of this man and his contribution to the govt, let the man go to his grave in peace.This is not the crime of the century or even of the week.

  3. This is ironic, however, I suppose they could not find anything that could remotely resemble corruption that they could use to levy charges of corruption against the ” seven, ” so the easiest way to take them out of circulation was to get them on this inferior charge of not getting the necessary permission to speak.

    Sad, to learn of Vere’s situation, nonetheless, this might remind him and the Bird’s clan of the trauma George H. Walters must have suffered, when the Birds in the 1970’s had him arrested, and charged with utilizing money from the government treasury of Antigua to buy a Steal Frame Building from J. Astaphan & Company of Dominica whilst serving as a one term Prime Minister of Antigua.

    Alternately, he was incarcerated for a number of years for what the Bird’s term his crime against the people of Antigua, nonetheless, after severing his sentence he became the first Prime Minister of Antigua, to go home, retired, on a ten ($10,000.00) thousand dollar pension package per month, subject to an increase in the following years for as long as he lives.

    I do not know if he is yet alive!

    It would appear to me that there is a slight resemblance of a dictatorship in the making in Antigua, however, Spencer and et. al., must keep in mind that ” what is good for the goose is also good for the gander,” and what goes around, comes around.

    Perhaps if the Birds had not ensured the imprisonment of an innocent George H. Walters, the shoe would not have landed on the other feet in 20010.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  4. Real dominican
    February 6, 2010

    why balwin spencer is so wicked why are you putting your brothers thru all these stress Mr PM
    remember the birds are your brother so back off on them it will tell on you later

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