House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte was a busy man in court today as he appeared for two separate matters before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Interestingly, in one of the cases he was a defendant and in the other, he was a claimant.

 

The former is the legal challenge brought on by Cayo South Area Representative Hon. Julius Espat who was according to the Speaker suspended from the House of Representatives on August 26th. As the world now knows because of videos that went viral, Hon. Espat, refused to leave the House despite the Speaker’s orders and was violently removed by the Police’s special patrol unit. Several days later, the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote to the financial officer instructing her to suspend further payment of any Government funds to the Cayo South representative due to the suspension. Hon. Espat has accused the Speaker of acting illegally. Well today it was Hon. Espat’s turn to put some heat on the House Speaker. We caught both individuals outside the Court.


Honorable Julius Espat – PUP Area Representatives Cayo South


“We are confident nearly more than a 100% that we are right, there are rules and regulations in the House of Representatives it is called Standing Orders and in that case the Speaker did not follow the Standing Order to be able to suspend a member, you have to understand that the Speaker do not have the authority into suspend a member only the House has so he had to call a vote to the House to be able to have that happen and that did not happened so we are confident that our case is a good one.”

Reporter


“Can you go back to what exactly transpired there because as I recall it Minister Elrington did got up to make the suggestion?”


Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_8.21.49_PMHonorable Julius Espat – PUP Area Representatives Cayo South


“Well he can make as many suggestions as he wants but there are procedure that has to be followed and well to start with they have to make an apology and did make one which they didn’t accepted, secondly the Speaker has to name and not a member of the house, thirdly Minister from Pickstock rose to give his part of what he believes it should have happened and at the end of the day the Speaker did not asked for a vote and so it was series of error that were committed along the way and every knew what happened at the end I was forcibly removed which is an illegal act.”

 

Honorable Michael Peyrefitte - Speaker of the House of Representatives


“I maintain that I wasn’t wrong and that matter is proceeding with as well so we will have to wait until the result of that but with me whatever the court decides, the court decides, I will respect whatever decision the court makes and I am also of the believe that that as well is something that is very possible that the court doesn’t have to get involve but we are preliminarily having discussions on that and I don’t want to prejudice that.”


Reporter


“In the case of Mr. Espat, the settlement could be that you acknowledge that you misinterpreted the Standing Order, that you do not as the Speaker have the authority to suspend a member of the House without the whole house boasting that that is the premise of their case?”


Honorable Michael Peyrefitte - Speaker of the House of Representatives


“Wrong again, I mean up the wrongness you are 90 to 95% that is not a part of the settlement at all and I am telling you no I will not accept that position and even if italicize, bold, underlined, even if we settle that matter it will not be on the premise that I admit that at all because I don’t believe that, now if we go to court and the court decided that I was wrong and that is the court’s interpretation well then I will respect it.”

 

Reporter


“So then you are maintaining that as the Speaker of the House you alone don’t have the authority toss upend a member of the House that is what you are essentially maintaining?”


Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_8.22.11_PMHonorable Michael Peyrefitte - Speaker of the House of Representatives


“You saw what happened, I don’t believe that what happened in the house that I was wrong that is my position, the court will decide that and if the court decides that against me I will accept the court’s decision, I certainly punch any one and then try to blame the police.”


Reporter


“Have you since the incident gone over the standing orders to make sure that you was on the right footing?”

 

Honorable Michael Peyrefitte - Speaker of the House of Representatives


“I was over it a thousand times before the House meeting.”


Hon. Espat is represented by Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck in this matter, while the House Speaker is represented by the Solicitor General.

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