Nevis Commission of Inquiry update

Secretary - Morrice Tyrell

Secretary – Morrice Tyrell

Charlestown, Nevis
July 23, 2009

The following is a press release dated July 23, 2009 from the Commission of Inquiry Secretariat at the end of today’s Court Hearing into the application by former Premier Mr. Vance Amory for an interim injunction which challenged the legality of the Commission:

On the evening of 20 July Commissioner Sharpe and the NIA were served with legal papers issued on behalf of [former] Premier Amory. He was seeking a number of declarations seeking to declare the Commissioner’s appointment invalid and an injunction preventing the Commission from proceeding further.  The Commission nevertheless proceeded with its planned hearings.

On Wednesday morning [former] Premier Amory applied for an ex parte injunction to stop the work of the Commission: this application was made without notice or with any opportunity to respond.  The Learned Judge refused the application and required Premier Amory to serve papers and evidence on the Commissioner and the Administration. These papers were served on Wednesday morning requiring attendance at the Court at 2pm that day.  Once again, the Commission proceeded with its work and examined witnesses on Wednesday morning.

A brief hearing was held at 2pm on Wednesday and the matter was adjourned till noon on Thursday 23 July.  In the meantime, the Commissioner and the Administration filed affidavits in reply and a written argument, supported by numerous authorities, resisting the application.

At the hearing at noon today Premier Amory’s counsel indicated that they had sought advice and now proposed to add a “constitutional claim” which would require the Attorney General to be joined in the action.  He also indicated that as it had become clear that no public hearings would take place until late September, at the earliest, the perceived urgency had disappeared.

With the full approval of the Learned Judge, the case will go forward for a speedy trial sometime in August, and a timetabling hearing will take place next Friday to set out what needed to be done and by whom, and to set a trial date.  In the interim, the Premier Amory’s revised case would be served on the Defendants and Attorney General.

None of this affects the work of the Commission.  This will proceed: further evidence will be collected, interviews taken and statements prepared, in short all of the essential “behind the scenes” work required prior to any hearings.

Morrice Tyrell, Secretary

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