BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Friday February 22, 2019 – Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas has won his legal battle against government in its attempts to have him kicked out of Parliament. And now he is heading back to court – this time to file a constitutional motion alleging that the government breached his right to privacy.
On Wednesday, a High Court judge dismissed a move by the Dr Timothy Harris-led administration to have Douglas disqualified from sitting in the National Assembly based on his use of a Dominica diplomatic passport.
Justice Trevor Ward ruled that the passport issued to Douglas by the Government of Dominica as a political and professional courtesy, in his capacity as former prime minister, did not in any way offend the Constitution of St Kitts and Nevis.
“I feel a deep sense of vindication upon the judgment of the court,” Douglas said after the judgement was handed down. “I consider today’s victory not just a victory for me as the respondent in the case, but also a victory for all of us because of the far-reaching implications that this case has for democracy and good governance in our Federation of St Kitts and Nevis.”
He further contended that the case had been “an obscene abuse of the court” and was intended as “a distraction and as a scurrilous attempt to malign and injure my good character and reputation”.
And Douglas had said he looked forward to his next encounter with Prime Minister Harris and his coalition administration at the upcoming general elections. But his lawyers have disclosed that before that time, the two sides will face off in court again.
The planned constitutional motion is based on the fact that Douglas’ right to privacy, guaranteed under Section 3 of the Constitution, was breached when his passport information and his signed Nomination Form from the 2015 general election were given to a private citizen, Cuthbert Mills, to support his claim in a case against the Opposition Leader, similar to the one brought against government.
The case brought by Mills had been thrown out after submissions made by Douglas’ legal team.