I write in reference to a letter published in your newspaper dated August 13, 2012, by a Ms Margareth Peters. The letter discussed the issue of a certain lawyer allegedly implicated in a number of cases of fraud and extortion for the sale of lands. I was very touched by the letter because the writer seemed to be an elderly woman who was swindled by this lawyer, and because I am also in a similar situation.
I am a pilot here in Antigua, and I had previously known the lawyer in question. In March 2009, this lawyer informed me that certain lands in Friars Hill were for sale. He further advised me that a certain lady and her husband were the agents for these lands. Through a series of forged documents, this lawyer convinced me to pay EC 75,000 – plus legal fees – for a parcel of land in Friars Hill. It was not until about a year later that I realised the entire process had been a fraud.
I must agree with Ms Peters when she states that the entire legal fraternity seems to be taking a hands-off approach when it comes to this lawyer. Both the lady and her husband who were involved have been charged by the police and have been incarcerated. They have been convicted of some crimes committed and continue to face multiple charges.
However, this lawyer continues to practice law, without the slightest remorse for his involvement in such a despicable act. I have written to, and had personal meetings with, the law council and yet still nothing has been done. In any other country, this lawyer would have been temporarily suspended from the Bar Association, pending an investigation into the matter. It appears as though the law council in Antigua is reluctant, or lacks the muscle necessary, to make such bold steps where this lawyer is concerned.
In addition, I notice that most other lawyers I have consulted in order to take legal action seem to be reluctant or disinterested to take up the case. It appears as though no one wishes to bring a lawsuit against one of their own. They seem to be protecting this individual from the consequences of the law, in a fashion similar to how doctors protect doctors whenever there is a medical mishap.
I urge the good gentlemen of the law to seriously look into this matter. Many individuals have been wronged, and it will not be long before someone takes the law into their own hands. What shall we say then? Shall we convict such an individual who takes the law into his/her hands?
Shall we condemn that person for taking such drastic actions, when the same legal fraternity has failed to uphold the law? Will the justice sector continue to pervert the law, simply because one of its members is now on the wrong side of the fence? I trust that justice will be done….and swiftly so!