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Myrie might have fabricated assault story - B'dos officials

Published:Monday | February 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Investigations carried out by the Barbadian police have suggested that Jamaican Shanique Myrie might have fabricated her alleged assault at the hands of airport immigration officials last year.

According to the story published yesterday in the Sunday Sun, a Barbados newspaper, airport law-enforcement officials denied Myrie was assaulted and that closed-circuit television pictures appeared to back up their denial.

A special report was commissioned by Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart last year after Myrie, then 22 years old, claimed she was subjected to an unlawful body cavity search by officials at the Grantley Adams International Airport. She also alleged that the officials made derogatory comments on her visit to the island on March 14, 2011.

No signs of stress

The newspaper went on to report that the officers interviewed included immigration, customs, airport security and police, who reported that Myrie never complained about ill-treatment and never appeared distraught on the day in question.

The newspaper story yesterday also quoted Roger Forde, one of the lawyers representing the Barbados government, as saying: "The government stands by the findings of its investigation. There were no body searches and there was no discrimination."

When contacted yesterday for a comment, Jamaica's minister of foreign affairs, A.J. Nicholson, declined to give a comment, adding that the matter is before the court.

"I don't see how they could have commented on it when it is before the court, I don't think they should have," Nicholson told The Gleaner.

Myrie is petitioning the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to determine, under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the minimum standard of treatment applicable to CARICOM nationals moving within the region.

The case is significant as the court's final judgment will likely set a precedent for the movements of Caribbean nationals within the region.

The CCJ will hear the matter in April.