Expert witness on immigration law, Professor David Rowe, admitted yesterday under cross-examination in the Supreme Court that he gave a speech in May 2007 praising Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller as the greatest hope for Jamaica.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was then Prime Minister of Jamaica.Professor Rowe has been testifying since last week as to how an individual obtains an American passport and United States citizenship.
People's National Party (PNP) candidate Abe Dabdoub had called Professor Rowe, a member of the Florida Bar Association, to testify at the election petition he has brought against Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament Douglas Vaz.
Great supporter of JLP
Professor Rowe, who was being cross-examined by Vaz's lawyer Ransford Braham, said his speech in favour of Simpson Miller did not colour his view on the matter before the court.
Professor Rowe said: "I am a greater supporter of the JLP than the PNP.
He said further that "I have been far closer to the JLP than the PNP".
Dabdoub is contending that Vaz should not have been duly elected Member of Parliament because he has dual citizenship and has allegedly pledged allegiance to a foreign state, which is in breach of the Jamaican Constitution.
Professor Rowe said under cross-examination that if Vaz did not apply for a U.S. passport, then it could not be said he became a citizen by his own act. It was suggested to Professor Rowe that pursuant to the American case of Woodward versus Rodgers, a citizen or anybody applying for U.S. passport was not required to take an oath of allegiance in whatever form, but he said he disagreed with the suggestion.
Yesterday, Chief Justice Zaila McCalla, who is hearing the petition, commented that there was the need for court reporters to be assigned to take verbatim notes in civil matters such as the one before her. The judge made the comment because at times she had to stop to make sure she got the correct questions asked by the lawyers.