Nevis Premier Mark Brantley blasts High Court judge over ruling

Charlestown, Nevis, December 1, 2019 – Premier of Nevis, Hon Mark Brantley has harsh words for High Court Judge, His Lordship Mr Justice Eddy Ventose, following a ruling that found a police officer “knowingly telling falsehoods to the court” and suggested that Brantley’s wife, Sharon, was “not being truthful” in a statement to the police.

“I don’t agree with anything the judge said. I’ve seen the judgement and I think that is why we have appellate courts,” the Observer quoted Brantley as saying at a recent press conference.

This weekend’s paper also quotes Premier Brantley, a lawyer by profession, as saying that “judges can say what they wish, they are judges, but just like you and I, they misinterpret, they get things wrong, they sometimes come to matters with a particular prespective.”

In the 15-page judgement, Justice Ventose ordered the State to pay damages to McMillan amounting to EC$160,000.

Ventose found that Mrs Brantley’s status as the wife of Mark Brantley, factored in the arrest of McMillan and that she was not telling the truth in relation to the identification of two occupants in a vehicle.

“I do not believe that Mrs Brantley saw the claimant in the rented vehicle as this was not her evidence at trial,” said Ventose.

“It is more likely than not that Mrs Brantley was not telling the truth to Inspector Carty when she reported that the two of the three photos she found of the claimant and another resembled the men she allegedly saw in the rented vehicle.”

The St Kitts and Nevis Observer said Premier Brantley also accused the court of “eroding the confidence in our institutions.”

Premier Brantley expressed concern for what he called “the reputational damage for the police.”

“Some of the language employed in the judgement was in my view unfortunate,” said Brantlety.

“That language sought to impugn the integrity of very senior members of the police force.”

The paper reported Premier Brantley as saying the judge had overreached in calling for a perjury investigation of officer Carty.

The US-based political consultant claimed he was unlawfully detained and arrested at the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport in December 2017 for allegedly operating a drone over or near the private residence of Mr Brantley, who was at the time the Deputy Premier of Nevis, and filed a civil suit against the Attorney-General, the Commissioner of Police and the arresting police officer.

Justice Ventose in his ruling found that McMillan’s arrest, the seizure of his property and detention, were unlawful.

The judgement also pointed out that McMillan was charged with “invasion of privacy” which is not in the laws of the Federation.