APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF FORMER ACTING SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS WAS “BOUND TO FAIL AND IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES HOPELESS”

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 24, 2019 (SKNIS): On January 15, 2019, High Court Judge His Lordship Justice Eddy D. Ventose in dismissing an application (Claim No. SKBHCV2018/0188) for leave for Judicial Review brought by Former Acting Supervisor of Elections, Wingrove George against The Senior Magistrate and The Director of Public Prosecutions (Respondents) ruled that the Applicant, Mr. George, acted unreasonably.

“I am of the view that the applicant acted unreasonably because there are many reasons I have found why the main ground underpinning the application for leave to apply for judicial review was bound to fail and, in all circumstances, hopeless. This is not an application that should have been brought at all since the learning is clear on all points raised,” Justice Ventose said. “

“Consequently, I must depart from the general rule and order that the Applicant pay the costs of the Respondents in these proceedings,” Justice Ventose added.

George’s application for leave to apply for Judicial Review was dismissed as “an abuse of the process of the court”, the interim injunction was discharged, and the bail conditions, which were suspended, were reinstated. This includes the surrender of his travel documents.

On December 15, 2017, two years and nine months after the General Elections, Mr. George was formally arrested, charged and cautioned on two warrants in the First Instance, for the offence of Misconduct in Public Office. He was granted bail by his Honour Reynold Benjamin in the sum of $25,000 on each charge with two sureties.

The charge read: “For that you, between the 16th day of February 2015 and the 17th day of February, 2015, in Basseterre, in the Parish of St. George in the Magisterial District “A” in the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis, whilst carrying out public functions in the public office of Acting Supervisor of Elections for the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis to supervise the conduct of Elections of Representatives in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, misconducted yourself in the said public office, in that, having received the results from the Returning Office for Constituency Number 4, and without reasonable explanation or justification, you failed to carry out your duty to ensure that announcements of the election results for Constituency Number 4 was done in a timely manner by suspending the announcements of the election results and failed to take any or proper steps to ensure the timely announcement of the election results for Constituency Number 4 contrary to Common Law.”

The same charge against Mr. George was made with respect to Constituency Number 8.

Mr. George unexplainably halted the voting count and did not declare the results of the General Elections until two days after.

In 2018, Mr. George brought an application for leave to seek judicial review of the decision of the Senior Magistrate to issue the warrants for his arrest, and the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute the matters. After hearing statements from both sides during a hearing on November 30, 2018, Justice Ventose reserved his judgment until January 15, 2019.

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