Mon | Dec 5, 2016

UWI's firing of Bain was publicised globally

Published:Wednesday | January 21, 2015 | 12:01 AMBarbara Gayle
Professor Brendan Bain

The University of the West Indies (UWI) yesterday called noted epidemiologist and HIV/AIDS researcher, Professor Peter Figueroa, as its first witness in the suit brought against it by Professor Brendan Bain, who is challenging his termination of contract in May last year.

Figueroa said he had spoken to Bain about giving expert evidence in a court in Belize.

He said while chairing a meeting of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS in 2012, a representative of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC) Coalition expressed a concern that Bain was considering giving evidence on behalf of some churches in Belize.

CONFIDENCE LOST

After Bain gave the report, he was fired by the UWI on the grounds that his constituents had lost confidence in his leadership of an HIV/AIDS organisation.

Bain gave an expert report in a case in which a gay man was challenging the buggery law in Belize.

Figueroa said he tried to persuade Bain to make a statement to the CVC that it was not his intention to cause them any hurt.

Businessman Robert Levy denied a suggestion by attorney-at-law Christopher Kelman that a report he prepared was to help his friend, Bain, get compensation from the UWI.

Levy, who is chairman of Jamaica Broilers Group, testified before the Full Court that he prepared a report last December on policy and best practices for severance of key members in an organisation.

Levy said he was unaware when he was doing the report that Bain was on a post-retirement contract for two years. He told the court that he and Bain were friends and that he knew him for 20 years.

Information technology consultant Shawn Wenzel testified that Bain's termination was publicised globally.

Wenzel said the UWI posted a press release about Bain's termination on its website. He said the termination was also reproduced on several websites. He further testified that articles about Bain's termination were published in Spanish and French. He spoke of an Associated Press report that was published in newspapers such as the Washington Post, Denver Post and Daily Mail.