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Bunting fails to have contempt of court case thrown out

Published:Wednesday | July 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle and Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writers

National Security Minister Peter Bunting has lost his bid to have a contempt of court case against him thrown out.

Yesterday, the Full Court - comprising justices Lennox Campbell, Sarah Thompson-James, and David Batts - dismissed an application by Bunting, who was seeking to have the case struck out.

Government lawyers repre-senting Bunting argued that the claimant, Shureny Quant, disobeyed a court order that required a certain document to be sealed before being filed in the Supreme Court.

However, Quant's attorneys, Carolyn Reid-Cameron and Chukwuemeka Cameron, opposed the application, arguing that it was the members of the court staff who were responsible for sealing documents and not the claimant.

The judges upheld the submissions, and in dismissing the application, said that even a person who is alleged to be a criminal is entitled to the protection of the law and to have his day in court.

Quant was deported from Jamaica to Curaçao and was later sent to The Netherlands, where he was taken into police custody. All the charges against Quant have been dropped, and one of Quant's lawyers told The Gleaner that Quant received compensation from the authorities in The Netherlands for false imprisonment. There are no charges pending against Quant in Curaçao, his lawyers said.

Quant is seeking compensation from the Jamaican Government, which includes exemplary damages.

In his suit, Quant is contending that Bunting breached a Supreme Court ruling when he ordered his deportation to his homeland, Curaçao.

He is claiming that when he was deported in April last year, there was a Supreme Court order in place, which barred his deportation.

Quant is asking for the national security minister to be imprisoned for unlawfully removing him from Jamaica and refusing to tell the court the reasons for his detention or his whereabouts.

Quant contends in court documents that his deportation constitutes an enforced disappearance of persons and has described it as a crime against humanity.

The Supreme Court is to hear Quant's case on October 22 and 23.