Trial date to be set in July

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 12:30

The tri­al date of a law­suit in which eight Venezue­lans are chal­leng­ing a de­ci­sion of the Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion to de­ny them en­try in­to the coun­try in March is ex­pect­ed to be set in Ju­ly.

Dur­ing a brief hear­ing of the case at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spainyes­ter­day, High Court Judge Jacque­line Wil­son gave lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the group and di­vi­sion dead­lines for fil­ing ev­i­dence and sub­mis­sions in the ju­di­cial re­view case.

Wil­son is ex­pect­ed to set a date for the tri­al of the case when it comes up for hear­ing next on Ju­ly 15.

The for­eign­ers—sev­en women and one man—were re­fused en­try at the Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port on March 21 af­ter ar­riv­ing aboard a La Vene­zolana char­ter flight from Cara­cas.

They were be­ing tem­porar­i­ly de­tained at a ho­tel at the ex­pense of Nav Tours Lim­it­ed, which char­tered the flight, as an­oth­er flight was not im­me­di­ate­ly avail­able to fa­cil­i­tate their de­por­ta­tion.

The group’s lawyers filed a se­ries of habeas cor­pus writs chal­leng­ing their de­ten­tion but even­tu­al­ly with­drew them af­ter the di­vi­sion agreed to grant them con­di­tion­al re­lease pend­ing the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the case.

The main ground of their case is that im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers did not in­form them of their right to ap­peal the de­ci­sion to bar them en­try in­to the coun­try when it was made.

All eight claimants were present in court for the brief hear­ing.

The group was al­so rep­re­sent­ed by Wayne Sturge, Mario Mer­ritt, Lemuel Mur­phy, Ha­sine Sheik, Alex­ia Romero, Deli­cia Hel­wig-Robert­son, Shiv­ani Ramkissoon and Kir­by Joseph.

Reporter: Derek Achong