St Kitts-Nevis government seeks another adjournment in Dominica diplomatic passport case involving opposition leader

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Attorney General Vincent Byron

BASSETERRE, St Kitts — Ten months after taking leader of the opposition, Dr Denzil Douglas, to court challenging his constitutional right to sit in parliament while holding a diplomatic passport issued by Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis’ attorney general, Vincent Byron, has asked for another adjournment of the matter.

Byron filed the case in February and, after several adjournments, it was rescheduled to continue before Justice Trevor Ward QC on December 10 and 11.

Byron has now requested another adjournment, to which Douglas’s defence team has agreed.

During a hearing, Byron indicated he wanted to produce expert evidence on Dominica law, which was later withdrawn but, in July, Justice Ward ruled that the attorney general must produce expert evidence in the matter.

Byron has indicated that the individual is said to be unavailable for the two-day hearing next week.

The defence team already has an expert witness as it is of the view that such evidence is required to assist the court to make a determination of Dominica’s law on a number of issues including citizenship, statutory requirements and obligations and oaths for passports – ordinarily, diplomatic or otherwise.

Initially, the attorney general’s case against Douglas was on the premise of citizenship, which a letter from the ministry of foreign affairs in Dominica has debunked.

Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit offered Douglas a diplomatic passport after St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris refused to approve and issue a St Kitts and Nevis diplomatic passport to Douglas, in his new status as leader of the opposition.

Douglas has voluntarily agreed and has provided all the information of his use of the diplomatic passport to the court.

No new date for a hearing has been set.

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