Defence team asks Justice Ward to throw “Big Chief” case against Dr. Denzil Douglas; decision to be given on July 13
Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 6, 2018 – High Court Judge His Lordship Mr. Justice Trevor Ward QC will hand down his decision in the Dominica Diplomatic Passport case brought by Newton Ground resident, Mr. Cartright “Big Chief” Mills, against St. Kitts and Nevis Leader of the Opposition and Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 6, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
Dr. Douglas’ legal team, led by Mr. Anthony Astaphan SC, Delano Bart, QC, Sylvester Anthony and Angelina Gracey Sookoo-Bobb during a two-hour hearing on Friday requested Justice Ward to strike out Mr. Mills’ claim that Dr. Douglas is not qualified to be the St. Christopher 6 Parliamentary Representative.
The team submitted a number of reasons why Mr. Mills’ claim ought to be struck out in its entirety or in the alternative certain paragraphs.
“Our reason for trying to strike out the entire claim is that under Section 36 (4) of the (St. Kitts and Nevis) Constitution which allows a challenge to a member of the house who is duly elected but since then there is an allegation arose that challenges his qualification to remain the house, only allows for a single challenge to be brought and in the circumstances where a challenge is brought by a voter, the Attorney General can intervene, however there is no such provision where the Attorney General has first filed and so because of the very strict nature of the section 36 of the Constitution, there is no provision allowing for what is considered a second challenge, particularly given the way that Mr. Mills has chosen to prosecute his case,” said Sookoo-Bobb.
The defence team contends also that Mr. Mills has failed to specifically point out what are the laws of Dominica that he alleges amounts to Dr. Douglas being in allegiance to the Commonwealth of Dominica as a foreign power.
She also referred to Mr. Mills’ attachment as evidence, the front page of the St. Kitts-Nevis Observer newspaper “which he purports to be a copy of Dr. Douglas’ Diplomatic Passport.
“Mr. Mills cannot exhibit that document. We argued that it is inadmissible,” said Sookoo-Bobb, who further pointed out that looking at the document there is absolutely no passport number tying Dr. Douglas to the Diplomatic Passport and it is an incomplete document obviously seemingly photo-shopped.
Mr. Mills also relies on FaceBook postings “which we say is insufficient in which we call in hearsay.”
She said it was curious as to how Mr. Mills was able to obtain documents which are private and ought to be kept in the custody of the Supervisor of Elections.
Mills submitted a copy of Dr. Douglas’ Nomination Paper that was obtained without an order of the High Court in which the National Elections Act specifically states that those documents are to be kept in the private custody of the Supervisor of Elections unless there is a court order allowing disclosure.
“We also challenged the three public officers who are attached to the Immigration Department who went into the immigration system and provided Mr. Mills with Dr. Douglas’ alleged date of travel, the aircraft number that he travelled on and his alleged Dominica Diplomatic Passport number. We thought that is a serious and obscene breach of Dr. Douglas’ right to privacy that public officials can use their positions to retrieve private information about Dr. Douglas and give that to an ordinary citizen for the purposes of bringing what we consider a politically-malicious claim against Dr. Douglas.
“The court should strike out these immediately and they ought not to be in this matter one day longer,” Sookoo said.
The decision of Justice Ward will be handed down next week Friday. 13th July.
Photo 1 – Dr. Denzil L. Douglas
Photo – Mrs. Angelina Sookoo-Bob