Judge to Give Directions in Barbuda Airport Case
Tuesday 25th September, 2018-Attorneys representing government and Barbudans John Mussington and Jacklyn Frank return to the High Court tomorrow for directions to be given on the progress of the Barbuda Airport Construction Case.
The presiding judge is expected to give directions on what documents are to be filed by both sides.
On August 2nd, 2018, Justice Rosalyn Wilkinson ruled in favour of John Mussington and Jacklyn Frank on August 2nd. The duo, reportedly acting on behalf of the people of Barbuda, petitioned the court to halt the airport construction through an injunction, claiming that the work being carried out was causing major damage to the island’s wildlife and eco-system.
But a day after the judge’s ruling an appeal was filed by the government. That matter was heard by the Appeals Court on September 11th and the injunction was lifted.
The argument advanced by the government’s attorneys was they were denied the opportunity to make any argument, or to present their side. The court reportedly served notice of the hearing on 31st July, 2018, notice served on the parties 1st August, 2018 that the hearing was set for 2nd August. Government’s lead attorneys were absent, and those holding for them asked for an adjournment but, but their request was denied.
Further, since no affidavit evidence was available from the government’s side, the judge ruled they were not entitled to be heard and so the injunction was granted after hearing from the attorney representing the Barbudans.
In their ruling, the Appeals Court held that what transpired before the judge was a material blow to the sacrosanct principle that a party that goes before the court, ought to be given an opportunity to be heard.
Government contends the construction of an international airport in Barbuda is all part of the plan to make the sister economically viable.