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Top lawyer hired by Covid-19 protesters quits and replaced by another senior brief

Off the case: lawyer Charles Richardson (File photograph)

A lawyer hired by a pressure group to challenge the Government over planned Covid-19 public safety regulations has withdrawn from the case.

Charles Richardson represented Constitutional Freedom Bermuda, which argued that the regulations, to be introduced next month, discriminated against people who had not had the Covid-19 vaccine.

But another lawyer, Mark Pettingill, said he had stepped into the breach and would represent the group.

The news came after it was announced that arrivals to Bermuda without vaccination, including residents, would have to quarantine at one of three hotels from June 6 for 14 days at their own expense.

Campaigners insist residents could quarantine at home.

The group has also questioned curfew regulations and claimed they were unnecessary.

Mr Richardson confirmed last night that he was no longer the on-island representative for the group.

He said that anyone who had donated to the fund because of his involvement in the campaign could withdraw their pledge.

Mr Richardson added: “I am no longer associated with the group and the motion that they intend to bring and I am no longer associated with the fund that has been set up to pay for it.

“The way the CrowdJustice fundraising platform works is, if you make a pledge, your credit card isn’t debited until the target amount has been reached.

“I want people to know that I am no longer involved so that, if they made a pledge because of my involvement, they may want to rescind it.”

Constitutional Freedom Bermuda had planned to file a motion in Supreme Court this week to ask for the restrictions to be stayed until their legality could be argued in front of a judge.

It is not known if a writ has been filed yet.

Mr Pettingill said: “We are committed to representing our clients without fear or favour and irrespective of political affrliation - this matter has nothing to do politics or conspiracies, this is about constitutional freedoms.”

He added: “The Constitution guarantees fundamental rights, liberties, and freedoms that all Bermudians are entitled to.”

Mr Pettingill said that Courtenay Griffiths, a London QC, would continue to advise in the case.

He added: “Our clients hold the view that the regulations are discriminatory and have gone a step too far and our team at Chancery looks forward to working with Mr. Griffiths QC to advocate our clients' case before the courts.“

Mr Pettingill said his clients were “immensely grateful for the enormous support” from residents and from overseas.

Mr Griffiths did not respond to a request for comment.

For more information, visit https ://www. crowdjustice. com/case/the-fight-for-constitutional/.

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Published May 14, 2021 at 12:59 pm (Updated May 14, 2021 at 1:37 pm)

Top lawyer hired by Covid-19 protesters quits and replaced by another senior brief

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