Leader of Opposition finally presents his Dominican diplomatic passport to judge
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Reporting on the outcome of the third hearing in the constitutional motion brought against the leader of the Opposition, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, by Attorney General the Hon. Vincent Byron, the attorney general said that Douglas had complied with the consent order and provided the Office of the Attorney General with information on the number of countries visited and the number of occasions he did so using his Dominican diplomatic passport. Douglas did so within seven days of the last hearing on April 20, as requested by the consent order.
The attorney general, while speaking at the prime minister’s press conference May 30, also explained that as a part of the consent order, Douglas was required to present the physical passport to His Lordship, the Hon. Justice Trevor M. Ward QC, for verification of the information provided to the Office of the Attorney General, which was also complied with at the third hearing May 30.
“Today, on the third hearing, one of the key processes was that Dr. Douglas’ diplomatic passport that he obtained from Dominica was provided for His Lordship, Mr. Justice Ward QC, in Chambers, where he would have made that verification,” said Attorney General Bryon.
The attorney general also explained that the St. Christopher and Nevis Constitution (1983) requires that a member of parliament cannot be under any adherence or acknowledgement of an allegiance to a foreign state, as quoted in Section 28. “We have asked the court that with Dr. Douglas using a diplomatic passport from the Commonwealth of Dominica, if he has breached that constitutional provision,” said the attorney general. “By use of the diplomatic passport, is he under an acknowledgement of allegiance to the Commonwealth of Dominica?”
Attorney General Byron further mentioned that the counsel for the defence are making an appeal to have an expert in constitutional law from the Commonwealth of Dominica to be brought in to advise on Dominican laws to assist the court, in which an application was made for an expert witness.
The attorney general, acting on advice of learned Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes of Trinidad and Tobago, is asking the High Court to declare that Douglas has vacated his seat in the National Assembly by holding a diplomatic passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica. The constitutional motion also seeks an injunction to restrain Douglas from taking part in the proceedings of the National Assembly.
The parliamentary disqualification case brought by the attorney general of St. Christopher and Nevis, the claimant, against the leader of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Opposition, Dr. Denzil Douglas, the defendant, will continue June 15 in the High Court at the Sir Lee L. Moore Legal and Judicial Complex in Basseterre before His Lordship the Hon. Justice Ward, QC.