Businessman, Desmond Alphonso (DA) will be deported back to his homeland, Guyana, today.
According to BVI Platinum News, Alphonso who had appealed his deportation order last year, was picked up by Immigration Officers with the assistance of Police Officers Friday afternoon. Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Guy Hill, refused to comment. BVI Platinum News contacted Hill after being informed that Chief Immigration Officer Dennis Jennings was on leave.
Alphonso is a native of Guyana, but lived on Tortola for most of his life.
The deportation order came following Alphonso’s guilty plea to harbouring three wanted Jamaican men in 2007. He served a four-year sentence which ended on July 29, 2009, but was on remand for murder.
In March 2010 following a two-week trial for the murder of Christopher “Marlon” Bailey, Alphonso was unanimously found not guilty by a nine-member jury.
However, on April 1, last year, Alphonso lodged an appeal against the deportation order which was issued under the hands of the previous Governor, David Pearey. Alphonso then filed a motion challenging the constitutionality of the appeal procedure.
The businessman’s main contention was that the Governor should not hear his appeal as he was the same person who made the deportation order and consequently, he would not be impartial, which infringes Article 16 (9) of the Constitution.
However, Justice Indra Hariprashad-Charles in her ruling said the Governor who made the deportation order had since retired and the Territory now has a new Governor.
Furthermore, the applicant (DA) sought a declaration that Section 40 (3) of the Act is inconsistent with Article 16 (9) of the Constitution, as guaranteed by Article 18 and is therefore unconstitutional, null and void.
He also sought a declaration that the laws governing his deportation from the Territory should be done pursuant and consistent with Section 40 (1) of the Act and Article 18 of the Constitution.
Justice Charles in her February 2011 ruling stated that by law, an appeal lies only to the Governor and by virtue of Article 18 of the Constitution, that right of appeal is limited to review to be done by the Governor and it is not Mr. Alphonso to dictate who should hear his appeal.
The Judge further stated that in any event, Governor David Pearey, who it was alleged would be biased if he heard the appeal, has since demitted office and the Territory has a new Governor. She said it is difficult to see how any allegation of bias may be canvassed against Alphonso.
Justice Charles noted that Alphonso had not established any cogent reason to demonstrate that the Governor would be biased in reviewing his appeal.
“In short, he has failed to establish any grounds for relief and accordingly, I will dismiss the action in its entirety,” Justice Charles had noted. The Judge had also stated at the end of her judgment that the Attorney General is seeking the cost of the proceedings.
In May following an appeal for Justice Charles’s ruling to be stayed by DA’s lawyer Stephen Daniels, the full Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean, headed by Chief Justice Hugh Anthony Rawlins, met at the Commercial Court building in Road Town and upheld Justice Indra Hariprashad-Charles’s decision in the case.
That ruling meant that the Governor was cleared to hear the deportation appeal in keeping with the decision of Justice Hariprashad-Charles.
Following the Court of Appeal ruling, Governor Boyd McCleary subsequently conducted a hearing .
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