Categorized | Featured, National News


Screenshot 2018-10-18 at 12.19.53 PM

Bahamian-born Jean Rony-Charles was reportedly drawn to tears following the verdict of his case in the court of appeal yesterday.

The Justices of the Court of Appeal,  Sir Hartman Longley, Sir Michael Barnett and  Mr. Justice Jon Isaacs  allowed  an appeal by the Attorney General, who was the appellant along with the Minister of Immigration Brent Symonette, William Pratt, in his capacity as Director of Immigration and Tellis Bethell, in his capacity as Commodore of the Bahamas Defence Force.

The Attorney General appealed an Order of Justice Gregory Hilton in which he dismissed a habeas corpus application but granted constitutional relief to Rony-Charles. 

Essentially, the Crown’s appeal was allowed and the respondent’s Notice/Cross Appeal was dismissed.

Sir Michael wrote: “ in my judgment not only was the judge correct to dismiss or discharge the Writ of habeas corpus on the material that was before him, the judge ought not in my judgment to have caused the writ to be issued.

“ The habeas corpus having been brought to an end the court ought not to have considered any further applications in that action arising  out of the detention of the applicant.”

Sir Michael said, “the judge fell in error when he proceeded with the application for constitutional relief and I would set aside all orders made by him on that application.”

He said, “ this  does not prevent the applicant from now applying for constitutional relief. He can still do so. No  doubt face the issue as to whether there are  other more appropriate causes of action to obtain relief such as an action in tort for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. However, it would not  be appropriate for me to adjudicate on the propriety of those  claims on this appeal. They should be ventilated in an appropriate action after proper pleadings, discovery and evidence.”

Mr. Justice Isaacs in   allowing the appeal in his  judgment stated: “ In light of my decision that the judge erred when he continued the hearing once he had determined the habeas corpus application,  the respondent’s Notice/Cross Appeal are unsustainable; and as a consequence, dismissed.”

A  while back Justice Hilton initially deported Rony-Charles causing much backlash both locally and internationally. 

Upon Rony-Charles’ return, the crown since appealed on the basis that Justice Hilton based his ruling on excluded evidence and overstepped his boundaries by directing the state to grant Jean-Charles legal status.

This, while the identity of the applicant had not been determined irrefutably. 

A court document read, “Prior to hearing of submissions by respective parties, the court was concerned with the applicant’s name and whether it was “Jean-Rony Charles” or “Jean Charles”.

  In Jean Charles’ absence, who was flown to Haiti on November 24th last year, there was no conclusive answer on that concern.

  In the face of much doubt of both names being one in the same, the judge erred in treating them as such in the absence of definitive evidence.  

Lead defense attorney Fred Smith, AC argued that the issue surrounding his identity was unconnected arguing that a third category of people in the country find themselves in similar positions as Mr. Jean-Charles. 

He added that they do not particularly fall under certain definitions under the Immigration Act compelling the state to remove them. 

In an affidavit in the case Clotilde Jean Charles, sister of Jean Rony said that he brother was born  at the Princess Margaret Hospital  in Nassau on 5

  December, 1982 and is entitled to Bahamian citizenship;  that Jean Rony has never travelled outside of the Bahamas; that despite this, he was unlawfully arrested by  officers of Immigration on about early September 2017; that he has committed no offence under the Immigration Act; that he was falsely imprisoned in the Carmichael  Detention Centre and that he has not been charged with any offence in  any court.

The Attorney General was represented in the Appeal by Attorneys Loren Klein, Gary Francis,  Darcel Smith-Williamson and Hyacinth Smith. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook