Anthony Astaphan, SC, Lead Counsel for the leader of the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party and former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, in the Dominica Diplomatic Passport case, says his client could never be a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica
Anthony Astaphan, SC, Lead Counsel for the leader of the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party and former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, in the Dominica Diplomatic Passport case, says his client could never be a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica unless he had sworn allegiance and signed a certificate to be filed and accepted by the Dominican government.
The Senior Counsel’s arguments are contrary to what the government is claiming- that because Dr. Douglas used the passport, it suggests allegiance to Dominica.
Astaphan’s statement came a day after expert witnesses testified in the case.
The lead counsel indicated that his team was quite confident with the progression the case and withheld any predictions, to ensure no usurping of the court.
Another legal luminary, Chesley Hamilton, reached out to Senior Counsel Astaphan in relation to the issuance of diplomatic passports by the United Nations.
“What is the significant difference between this (Dominica) passport and when the United Nations grants you a diplomatic passport? You don’t become a citizen of the United Nations when they give you a diplomatic passport, do you?” Hamilton asked
“No! There is absolutely no difference,” Senior Counsel Astaphan responded.
The Diplomatic Passport was given to Dr. Douglas as a matter of professionalism and personal courtesy by the Prime Minister of Dominica after Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Hon. Mark Brantley), refused in accordance with protocol, to give a Diplomatic Passport to the former prime minister and Leader of the Opposition.
Both parties- Dr. Denzil Douglas and the government- are to submit final written submissions by January 25.