Jamaica, Dominica in talks to settle Tommy Lee Sparta deportation issue

tommy-lee-spartaROSEAU, Dominica, Tuesday March 17, 2015, CMC – The Dominica government Monday confirmed that talks were being held with its Jamaican counterpart on a settlement regarding the deportation of dancehall artiste, Tommy Lee Sparta last February.

Lee, whose real name is Leroy Russell and three others – Tiasha Oralie Russell, Junior Fraser and Mario Christopher Wallace – were deported one day after they arrived here to perform at a show.

Attorney General Levi Peter, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, would neither confirm nor deny that a settlement was being discussed, noting “there has been communication between the Attorney General’s Chamber, Dominica and the attorney General’s Chamber in Jamaica in relation to the matter.

“The communications between the two have been without a prejudice basis and no doubt there will be further discussions and communication on the matter.

“I can confirm there has been communication between the two offices,” he said, adding “if settlement is possible and appropriate then that will be the course we will follow, but for the time being I think it is in everybody’s interest if I limit discussions in respect of those matters”.

Earlier this month, Jamaica’s Deputy Solicitor General and Director — International Affairs Division, Dr Kathy-Ann Brown had indicated that Roseau was seeking a friendly resolution to the matter.

“We have received a formal indication from the Hon Attorney General of Dominica of his Government’s desire to pursue an amicable settlement of the dispute utilising the good offices of the Hon Attorney General of Jamaica with your concurrence. We are, therefore, seeking an indication of your willingness to pursue an amicable resolution and, if you are agreeable thereto, the provision of further details of your clients’ claims,” she said in a letter to Russell’s attorney, Bert Samuels.

“We would propose that should you favour an amicable settlement, once we have had an opportunity to review any additional materials which you may submit for our consideration, that we schedule a meeting to address our clients’ concerns,” the letter noted.

Police had detained the singer and two other members of his group when they arrived on a private jet to perform in Portsmouth in February last year.

The Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches (DAEC) had been calling for a boycott of the concert featuring Sparta, whom it claimed glorifies Satan during his performances.

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