On Tuesday, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court sitting at the Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial Complex in Basseterre handed down its rulings in three cases, disallowing the appeal of Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris against the judgment of Justice Pearletta Lanns.
Dr. Timothy Harris in 2014 and 2016 filed defamation lawsuits against Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Nigel Carty, Clement Juni Liburd and Charlie Jong claiming that they had made or published false statements about him. In the case management in the lead up to the trial of the matter, Dr. Harris filed a motion to strike out the defense of all the respondents on the grounds that their defense was an abuse of process and did not provide enough particulars for his liking. It was as though Dr. Harris really believes that because he has managed to undemocratically place his sisters as magistrates and registrar of the court, he should really have his way, even in the courts of the land, as any dictator would expect. Essentially, Dr. Harris believes that by some strange set of circumstances, the cases that he has brought should not actually be tried, but that he should instead receive judgment in his favour because he is Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The hearing of the motion filed by Dr. Harris to strike out the respondents’ defense was presided over by Justice Pearletta Lanns who ruled that the matters should go to trial and not be dismissed as Dr. Harris would wish. Upon losing that case at the High Court, Harris, being determined to abuse our court system, filed a motion before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Appellate court to have the judgment of Justice Lanns overturned. The real travesty in this matter is that Dr. Harris is claiming that those of us whom he has dragged into court and who have chosen to defend ourselves are abusing the process of the court. The truth is, it is Dr. Harris who is abusing the process of the court by filing a useless motion asking the court to deny us the respondents the right to defend ourselves. Moreover, Harris is asking the Appeal Court to overrule the discretion of the High Court Judge. Discretion means that the High Court judge has the liberty to make up her own mind about the case even if others in her position would have done it differently.
What I am most concerned about is the very dangerous dictatorial tendencies of our Prime Minister. He has stacked our courts against the ordinary citizens of this country by placing his sisters on the court, in the first instance, then adds insult to injury by seeking to abuse the process of the court to deny people the basic God-given and constitutional right to defend themselves against his devilish actions. This is consistent with everything I know about Dr. Harris, a truth that is coming home to so many persons only over the last few years.
Harris is not interested in the rule of law; he is interested in power and wealth; and that’s exactly what his Prime Ministership has been about. He has used his position to abuse ordinary people and put his sisters and brothers in positions to enrich themselves and corrupt our system of democracy. This cannot continue for much longer. The next election must be a referendum on whether we stand for Harris’ dictatorship, nepotism and corruption, or whether we stand for a government that believes that its duty is to serve all people of this fair land with fairness and dignity.