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Malahoo Forte suspended from Senate, cited for contempt

Published:Friday | October 23, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte (with handbag) reacts after being suspended from the Senate.

Opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte has been suspended from service in the Senate until she furnishes the president, Floyd Morris, with a letter supporting her claims that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council had expressed an interest in travelling to Jamaica to hear cases.

Malahoo Forte made the claim in the Upper House on Thursday during her contribution to the three bills related to replacing the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Following insistence from members of the government side, Morris requested that he be presented with the letter today.

In suspending Malahoo Forte, Morris said that she was contemptuous.

He pointed to the fact that she relayed a message to him, via the Marshall, that she has already told him that the letter will be produced.

Malahoo Forte had left the chamber while Government Senator Wensworth Skefftery was making his contribution to the debate on the CCJ bills.

She subsequently sent for her handbag, but when an orderly attempted to take it to her, the orderly was instructed by A.J. Nicholson, the leader of Government Business, to "put it back".

The bag was subsequently taken out of the chamber by fellow opposition senator Kamina Johnson Smith, an action which led Nicholson to alert Morris that Malahoo Forte may be seeking to leave the Parliament building without providing the letter.

Earlier in the sitting,  Malahoo Forte told Morris that she had the letter and had misplaced it and would produce it.

She did not indicate when it would be produced.

On Thursday, Malahoo Forte escaped suspension after Justice Minister begged for leniency.

READ: Malahoo Forte escapes Senate suspension

The Senate President had wanted to suspend Malahoo Forte for disobeying his instruction to withdraw her comment that the process to move to the CCJ was a mockery.