Two of the government’s expert witnesses in the Dominica Passport Case told the Court that based on the information provided by the Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron that “Dr. Douglas is not a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica,” as the Dominica Diplomatic Passport case continued.
After the testimonies of the expert witnesses, both parties – leader of the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party and former Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, and the government, are to submit final written submissions between January 25 and February 4,
A date for a decision will then be set by His Lordship Justice Trevor Ward QC.
Senior Counsel, Attorney at Law, Reginald Armour and former Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda, Justin Simon, who were flown in from Trinidad and Antigua respectively for the trial both submitted that based on the information submitted by Attorney General Byron, Dr Douglas did not apply for citizenship of Dominica and on the travel declarations seen Dr. Douglas has always listed his nationality as that of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Both also agreed that granting of a Diplomatic Passport is given by discretion and no oath of allegiance is required.
Dr. Douglas’ expert witness, Gerald Burton, who is Chairman of the Dominica Electoral Commission, in his testimony, also stated that possession of a Diplomatic Passport by a Dr. Douglas does not grant citizenship.
Anthony Astaphan, SC, Lead Counsel for Dr. Douglas says the matter is “a simple one”
“This Diplomatic Passport was given to Dr. Douglas as a matter of professionalism and personal courtesy (by the Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit). He applied for it as required under the regulations. He did not declare a citizenship of Dominica at any time, even when he travelled on his regular passport or on the Diplomatic Passport. His nationality was always declared as that of St. Kitts and Nevis or a Kittitian,” said Astaphan, to newsmen after the trial ended at the Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial and Legal Services Complex.
“This Prime Minister (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,” Astaphan added.
He said there is also official documentation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dominica certifying that Dr. Douglas did not acquire citizenship and because he did not declare his citizenship, he left it blank but the default setting put Dominica in.
“All the experts including those representing the Attorney General said the documentation produced into evidence reveals and indicated that every time Dr. Douglas travelled – departed or landed – he declared his citizenship to be that of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Astaphan.
Dr. Douglas’ legal team comprises Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, Delano Bart QC, Sylvester Anthony, Angelina Gracey Sooko-Bobb and Kendrick Kentish.
A five man team represented the Attorney General.