By Caribbean News Now contributor
BASSTETERRE, ST KITTS — High Court Registrar, Janine Harris-Lake, the sister of the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Timothy Harris, has so far refused to list a hearing to enforce the award of a monetary judgment against tourism minister Lindsay Grant despite several requests from the plaintiff to do so.
In September 2016, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ruled in favour of political consultancy BuzzMaker who sued Grant over failure to make payment related to services provided in the lead-up to the 2010 general elections in the Federation.
In spite of the court ruling in BuzzMaker’s favour in September 2016, a year and a half later, BuzzMaker has yet to receive the final judgment from the court.
BuzzMaker reported that its counsel has sent several formal letters to Harris-Lake requesting the registrar to relist the matter so that the specific monetary judgment can be delivered and the firm can receive the monies owed to it. However, no action has been taken to date by the registrar.
“In support of our formal letters we’ve sent over the last 18 months, we are adding our public voice to the call on the High Court registrar, Ms Harris-Lake, to re-list the matter so that a judgment can be rendered and collections can begin. We will continue to wait patiently and thank the officers of the court for their professionalism in this politically sensitive matter,” said BuzzMaker president, Matthew McMillan.
In another judgment against Grant, the Eastern Caribbean Appeal Court recently refused leave for the minister of tourism to go to the Privy Council in London to challenge rulings of the two lower courts that ordered him to pay US$283,333.33 (EC$762,999.99) in costs to former Labour government minister and parliamentary representative, Rupert Herbert, following the 2004 general elections.
And in another case involving Buzzmaker, McMillan filed court proceedings against St Kitts and Nevis government officials in relation to his arrest and detention on December 4.
McMillan was held by police investigating reports that a drone was used to invade the privacy of deputy premier Mark Brantley’s home, in what was described as a political operation, just days before the scheduled December 18 Nevis island elections.
McMillan asked the court to rule that his detention on suspicion of invasion of privacy for a stated 11 hours was unreasonable, unlawful, unconstitutional and violated his rights under section five of the constitution.
He also sought a declaration that the search and seizure of his property violated his right for protection against arbitrary search. His right to freedom of movement was curtailed, he claimed.
McMillan asked the court to issue an order that he is entitled to compensatory relief and damages for the unconstitutional violations of his rights.
The claim was made against an inspector of police, the commissioner of police and the attorney general.