Court grants PM extension to file response to lawsuit

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, May 2, CMC – A High Court judge has given Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley until May 8 to file his defence in a lawsuit brought against him by a former diplomat who is claiming that he was “shocked and surprised” at the decision to revoke his ambassadorship.

Justice Frank Seepersad granted the lawyers for Rowley the extension when the matter came up for hearing in the High Court on Monday. The matter will next be heard on May 29.

Rowley KK
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

Eden Charles, who served as Trinidad and Tobago’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), is seeking a declaration that the decision of the prime minister to revoke his appointment was illegal, made in bad faith and is contrary to fundamental human rights.

In his affidavit he said “By letter dated 20th September 2016, enclosed with an Instrument of Revocation dated the 19th September 2016, I was informed that my position as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary was revoked…

“This revocation on my ambassadorship left me shocked and surprised as this has never been done before as far as I am aware in the foreign service without cause.”

Charles wants the High Court declare that the Cabinet decision was null and void and that it was made in bad faith and/or was contrary to the fundamental human rights provided for under section 4 of the Constitution.

He is also asking the High Court to quash the decision and make an order to have him reappointed to the position.

Charles said that he was informed on July 25 last year by letter, enclosed with an Instrument of Transfer from the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, that he was being transferred from New York back to Port of Spain.

He said on July 26, when he received the letter, he wrote an e-mail to the acting permanent secretary in the ministry, Reita Toussaint, in an attempt “to clarify my position upon returning to headquarters and enquiring whether or not I would still be able to chair the preparatory committee in which I was appointed as the chairman in or about September 2015, even while at headquarters”.

Charles, who said he was appointed Ambassador in March 2012.

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, May 2, CMC – A High Court judge has given Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley until May 8 to file his defence in a lawsuit brought against him by a former diplomat who is claiming that he was “shocked and surprised” at the decision to revoke his ambassadorship.

Justice Frank Seepersad granted the lawyers for Rowley the extension when the matter came up for hearing in the High Court on Monday. The matter will next be heard on May 29.

Rowley KK
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

Eden Charles, who served as Trinidad and Tobago’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), is seeking a declaration that the decision of the prime minister to revoke his appointment was illegal, made in bad faith and is contrary to fundamental human rights.

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In his affidavit he said “By letter dated 20th September 2016, enclosed with an Instrument of Revocation dated the 19th September 2016, I was informed that my position as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary was revoked…

“This revocation on my ambassadorship left me shocked and surprised as this has never been done before as far as I am aware in the foreign service without cause.”

Charles wants the High Court declare that the Cabinet decision was null and void and that it was made in bad faith and/or was contrary to the fundamental human rights provided for under section 4 of the Constitution.

He is also asking the High Court to quash the decision and make an order to have him reappointed to the position.

Charles said that he was informed on July 25 last year by letter, enclosed with an Instrument of Transfer from the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, that he was being transferred from New York back to Port of Spain.

He said on July 26, when he received the letter, he wrote an e-mail to the acting permanent secretary in the ministry, Reita Toussaint, in an attempt “to clarify my position upon returning to headquarters and enquiring whether or not I would still be able to chair the preparatory committee in which I was appointed as the chairman in or about September 2015, even while at headquarters”.

Charles, who said he was appointed Ambassador in March 2012.