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‘Green Card’ case in May


rhondathompson, [email protected]

‘Green Card’ case in May

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal will on May 18 begin hearing an appeal filed by former government minister Cedric Liburd challenging the ruling of High Court Judge Madam Justice Indra Harriprashad-Charles following the January 25 general election.
The matter will be heard in Antigua where the Court will be sitting, according to Arudranuath Gossai, the Crown Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General here.
Gossai has said whatever the ruling by the Court of Appeal, the Cedric Liburd vs. Eugene Hamilton “Green Card” matter is set to become a test case not only in St. Kitts and Nevis, but  the British Commonwealth.
“In my research, throughout the Commonwealth and to an extent, the United States, we have not come across a case where the Court has actually had to decide on a Green Card issue.
“Almost all the cases had to decide on people who have a second passport and the Constitutions are similarly framed throughout the Commonwealth so that this is not only going to help St. Kitts and Nevis and the OECS, but the other Commonwealth countries,” Gossai said.
Justice Harriprashad had dismissed Liburd’s petition challenging the eligibility of Eugene Hamilton of the main opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM), to stand as a candidate in the last general election.
In the appeal, Liburd, the defeated St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) candidate for St. Christopher 8, listed several grounds and claimed that Justice Harriprashad-Charles failed to appreciate the effect of “pleading in the alternative”.
Liburd is arguing that Hamilton was the holder of a United States passport when he was nominated on January 15 this year to contest the general elections 10 days later.
Liburd is also contending that the judge failed to provide answers to the three main questions relating to the dual citizenship issue and that the failure of Justice Harriprashad-Charles to answer these questions separately resulted in an error of law.
The appellant is also arguing that It was pointed out that the Learned Judge found, as a matter of fact and law, that Mr. Hamilton was the holder of a permanent resident alien status in the United States at the time of his nomination, but yet failed to appreciate the effect and impact in law that an individual cannot have two permanent residences one and at the same time.
Liburd also wants the Appeal Court to set aside the decision and order as to costs of the High Court ruling.
The ruling SKNLP won the general election.
CMC

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