Barry Alleyne, Contributor
The man in charge of the daily running of the Grantley Adams International Airport has testified that all cameras at the nation's lone airport were fully functional on March 14, 2011, when Shanique Myrie first arrived in Barbados.
Joseph Johnson, who has worked at Grantley Adams for more than three decades and is now the facility's chief operations officer, told the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) yesterday that the cameras had not been newly installed and had been in place and working from around 2005 when the airport's new terminal began operations.
He made the revelation in the Supreme Court No. 1 under cross examination on the first leg of the CCJ's hearing of Shanique Myrie's discrimination case against the Government of Barbados.
Myrie is claiming she was discriminated against because of her nationality and was also subjected to a body-cavity search by Immigration Department officials when she arrived in Barbados.
In response to a question by Myrie's attorney, Nancy Anderson, Johnson said there were times faulty cameras had to be replaced but the ones in place had always worked. He also revealed that there were no surveillance cameras in the Immigration Department's security area, nor were there any in the bathrooms at the airport.
"They were fully functional in March 2011," Johnson told the court when asked by Anderson. "The terminal opened in 2005, and the cameras were installed shortly after."
Also giving testimony yesterday was Acting Comptroller of Customs Frank Holder. He told Jamaica's High Commissioner to Barbados Sharon Saunders that the cameras were being tested. Also under cross by Anderson, Holder denied he had told Saunders there were times when the cameras didn't work. "I didn't tell her they only worked sometimes. I told her I wasn't sure if they were functioning. I also told her they were being tested," Holder said.
The case resumes at 9 a.m. today.