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Judgement day

garciaThe judgement in the Raul Garcia detention case will be handed down next Wednesday afternoon in the Number 6 Supreme Court.

Justice Margaret Reifer made the disclosure this afternoon at the end of legal submissions by Donna Brathwaite, the attorney for the Minister responsible for Immigration, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the Chief Immigration Officer, Erine Griffith, and lead lawyer for Garcia, David Comissiong.

In his closing remarks, Comissiong argued that the new evidence – particularly the December 12, 2010 diplomatic note from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs — was extremely significant, in that it effectively nullified any legal basis for the continued detention of his client.

He said the Cuban note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Barbados stated that Garcia did not qualify to be either repatriated or deported to Cuba.

The attorney reasoned that since the only deportation order which was in effect against Garcia was the one that he be deported to Cuba; and that since it’s now certain he cannot be deported to that island, there was now no legal basis for continuing to detain him.

“In effect, his detention becomes unconstitutional,” insisted Comissiong.

He also submitted that no evidence existed that Garcia was a national security threat. The attorney suggested that a person who was such a threat was not have been allowed to attend Ilaro Court, Holetown Festival, the Democratic Labour Party annual conference and Bridgetown Market.

Comissiong therefore urged the judge to exercise her discretion in favour of his client and to give him his freedom now, especially considering he had been detained almost three years after serving his 20-year jail term for his drug conviction. (EJ)†

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