Jean Rony granted approval to take case to Privy Council

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The court of appeal on Tuesday granted leave for Jean Rony Jean Charles to take his constitutional case before the Privy Council in London, despite the government’s attempt to block the move.

Fred Smith, the lawyer for Jean Charles told Eyewitness News that he will be appealing to the Privy Council.

The government vigorously opposed the decision arguing that the Court of Appeal didn’t address constitutional relief, however the court decided that it was a matter of general public importance that Jean Rony be permitted to appeal.

In October, the court of appeal threw out a landmark decision by Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hilton concerning the controversial deportation of Jean Rony Jean Charles from The Bahamas to Haiti earlier this year.

In a ruling back in February, Justice Hilton found that Jean Charles was “unlawfully expelled” from The Bahamas on Nov. 24, 2017, after having been unlawfully detained from Sept. 17, 2017 to Nov. 24, 2017.

Justice Hilton also found that Jean-Charles was deprived of his personal liberty, unlawfully arrested and falsely imprisoned. He ordered the government to issue a travel document to Jean-Charles to “allow and permit” him to travel from Haiti into The Bahamas, and that it pay the “reasonable cost” of Jean-Charles’ journey “forthwith upon his return”.

Immediately following that ruling, the government filed an appeal on the grounds that Justice Hilton was wrong in law and principle, and overreached his Constitutional authority, but that order was set aside earlier this year.

Fred Smith told Eyewitness News in October he was taking the case to the Privy Council.

“It’s not the end of the road,” Smith said.

“It’s very important that the issue raised must be litigated to the highest court of the land because it raises important points. It’s never about the war, it’s that we must be better for human rights to be fought.”

Jean Charles was arrested by Immigration officers last September, but he was never charged with any offence under the Immigration Act or any other law. He was never served with a deportation or a detention order and had never been outside of The Bahamas.

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