Sat | Nov 17, 2018

'It's a snail pace' Arrested Antiguan football officials frustrated by slow legal proceedings

Published:Tuesday | April 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment/ Sports News Coordinator
Everton Gonsalves, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association

Derrick 'Pretty Boy' Edwards and Danny Benjamin, the two Antigua and Barbuda football officials facing a drug charge, will appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court today.

There, their lawyers from the Knight, Junor and Samuels law firm will make a bail application to the judge on behalf of Benjamin.

The men were arrested on March 26, a day after Antigua and Barbuda's 1-1 draw with Jamaica at Sabina Park when their bags were found to have marijuana after being checked at the Norman Manley International Airport before their flight home.

Edwards told Observer Radio in St John's, Antigua, that he is frustrated by how slow the case is progressing.

"Our lawyers are trying to get the bail to get him (Benjamin) out," Edwards said. "The process down here (in Jamaica) is slow, real slow. It's a snail's pace. My main concern is to get Danny out of that situation. Speaking about it, it hurts. It brings tears to my eyes, man," Edwards said before crying.

MEDICAL CONDITION

Edwards said that he is concerned about the well-being of Benjamin, who was remanded at the Narcotics Police Headquarters, because he has a medical condition.

"I feel for him because he's sick, he's not 100 per cent," Edwards shared. "He was overseas because he has a problem. He's on medication and he has to have it come to the jail. When the medication runs out, it takes basically another two days to get more to him. Now that I'm out, and he's in the jail by himself, it's tough; it's real tough."

The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), which is led by Everton Gonsalves, has been criticised by the public in their country because it has been perceived that it has not offered enough support in the matter, but Edwards said he was waiting to return home before fully expressing his thoughts on this.

"I was on the inside, I can't speak so much about the support from the AFBA," he said. "My wife, she has basically had some disappointment about the whole situation and how it has been handled. At the end of the day, it's been what it's been. I can only wait until I get home to get certain things organised and to get to the bottom of everything and how the association handled it, but I know they're making some effort. I can't say that they're not."

The 49-year-old said that he is also worried about the effect the incident has had on his reputation.

"For me, personally, this caused me a lot of pain. I think my reputation is tarnished. Even though I know that both Danny and myself are innocent, it has really caused a lot of pain to myself, my family and my friends. But I have to put all my trust in God and hope that we can get out of this situation with a good record."

rachid.parchment@gleanerjm.com