Jack hauled before court

PORT OF SPAIN – A total of 26 affidavits have been filed by the State in defence of a lawsuit brought by environmentalist Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh and the Highway Re-route Movement challenging the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension project.

The documents which were filed in the High Court Registry last Friday, included sworn statements from National Security Minister Jack Warner, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Works Minister Emmanuel George.

The lawsuit, filed in August last year, is expected to go before the court and Justice James Aboud, for five days beginning on May 13. In the lawsuit, Kublalsingh and the group are seeking a conservatory order stopping construction of the proposed section of the highway. The group, which claims to have more than 600 followers, is being represented by six of its members in the lawsuit: Kublalsingh, Riaz Karim, Elizabeth Rambharose, Ramkaran Bhagwansingh, Malcolm Mohan and Ameena Mohammed.

The group contends that the Government contravened their constitutional rights to “life, security, enjoyment of property, to freedom of expression and freedom of association.” As a secondary issue, the group is seeking a declaration that the alleged actions of Warner in destroying their Debe protest camp on June 27 were illegal. They also claim it was unlawful for the Defence Force and police personnel to take instructions from Warner to demolish the camp.

Also filing statements in defence of the State’s case are Chief of Staff Maj Gen Kenrick Maharaj and several soldiers and policemen who witnessed and were involved in dismantling the camp. Statements from National Infrastructure Development Company president Dr. Carson Charles and environmental engineer Dr. George Sammy were also filed on the State’s behalf in the claim.

The group’s legal team includes Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj and attorneys Rishi Dass, Vijaya Maharaj and Anil Maraj. Senior Counsel Russel Martineau and Deborah Peake and attorney Kelvin Ramkissoon are representing the State. (Guardian)

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