Fri | May 26, 2017

Bain to complete testimony today

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 1:01 AMBarbara Gayle

Professor Brendan Bain is expected to complete his testimony today in his legal battle against the University of the West Indies (UWI) for terminating his two-year-contract in May last year.

Yesterday, on being cross-examined by Hugh Small, QC, he said that the expert report he gave in the Belizean court case involving a gay man did not make any reference to the retention of the buggery law. He said he was asked by church groups to give a report.

He said it was his understanding that there was a concern by the UWI that it would be difficult for him to continue to serve the people, who had lost confidence in him. Following the expert report, several civil-society groups had written to UWI claiming that they had lost confidence in him.

Bain is suing the UWI for breach of contract, breach of constitutional rights and defamation for firing him as director of Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network. The two-year contract would have ended in December last year.

On being asked to explain what he meant when he said in his witness statement that he was "vilified in a cause he has served for the greater part of his career", he said the vilification first came from the groups that wrote letters stating loss of confidence in him.

He said the vilification was later reinforced by UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris in a public television interview. He said in the interview, Harris drew an analogy to persons who were racists but did not say Bain was racist. Bain said during the interview Harris paid tribute to him for his distinguished work at the UWI and in the Caribbean. He said that in statements issued by UWI, he was commended for his work.

Bain said before he tendered his export report in Belize, four persons, including Dr Ernest Massiah, director of UNAIDS for the Caribbean, had warned him about the possible outcome of the report.

Questioned as to his definition of human rights, he said it was the scripture which said "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", but he later learnt that there were other definitions.

Bain will be re-examined by his lawyer Georgia Gibson Henlin when the hearing continues today.