Antigua top cop threatened with lawsuit

Antigua Observer:–  Legal action is pending against the Acting Commissioner of Police by businessman, Rey John, who is demanding a written apology for what his legal team said was his unlawful detention.

In the September 3rd notice, Atlee Rodney, acting commissioner of police was told

he had 14 days to publish a written statement of apology and the legal cost of $500 or face the commencement of legal action.

“We are also instructed to inform you that our client claims damages (inclusive of vindicatory damages) and to inquire what sum you are  prepared to pay by way of damages for the unlawful detention, false imprisonment and or breach of his constitutional rights,” attorney Warren Cassell of Daniels, Phillips and Associates wrote.

In outlining what unfolded on September 1, after John cleared immigration and airport security and boarded a “packed aircraft” that was about to take off for Canada, the attorney posited that his client was escorted off the aircraft and detained for about “12 minutes.”

Cassell stated that the action, said to have been sanctioned by Rodney, was unconstitutional while insisting that the acting police chief should have known that the bail conditions for John had been varied to grant permission for John to travel.

In the two-page communication, Cassell stated that the detention, while brief, caused John embarrassment and distress.

Cassell also indicates that John’s luggage was removed from the aircraft.

The notice states that the passenger presented documents to support his claim that permission was granted by the court for him to travel.

The matter was eventually sorted out and John was allowed back on the plane.

“The actions of [Sergeant] Bowen (who claimed that you authorised such actions) are clearly a breach of our client’s constitutional rights to freely move in and out of Antigua.

The detention (however brief) was unlawful and

tantamount to false imprisonment,” the attorney stated.

The businessman is on $35,000 bail while awaiting trial for a shooting that left one man injured on July 27, 2018.

The original condition of his bail was that he not be allowed to leave Antigua.

However, the law firm said that John obtained a court order on August 31, permitting him to travel. The attorneys also reminded Rodney that the bail variation hearing was between John and the Commissioner of Police.

Efforts to reach Acting Commissioner Rodney by cellphone and WhatsApp were unsuccessful.

For clarity, it should be noted that the individual in this report, is not the fraud accused police officer Ray John, but is a businessman with a similar name of Rey John.

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