Jagdeo moves to High Court to quash travel restriction

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 May 2015, 1:36 by GxMedia

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo (backing camera) standing in the dock at the Whim Magistrates Court.

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo wants the High Court to quash a temporary travel ban imposed by the Lower Court on him until the hearing and determination of private criminal charge that he allegedly uttered racially divisive remarks.

Through his Attorney-at-Law, Mursalene Bacchus, Jagdeo on Friday petitioned the High Court to remove the travel restriction because of his “international obligations he is required to leave Guyana regularly” and he may also need to seek medical treatment overseas.

“In addition to the Magistrate failed to take into consideration the possibility that your petitioner may need medical attention overseas and his overseas obligations,” states Jagdeo’s lawyer in court documents seen by Demerara Waves Online News.

Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall told Demerara Waves Online News that more legal action against Magistrate Charlyn Artiga’s actions would be filed in the coming days.  “Yes, we have challenged that today. Every aspect of her ruling will be challenged. She also overruled the submissions made. This will be challenged soon,” he said.

Jagdeo, who lives at Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara, wants the travel restriction removed because he would be inconvenienced by having to travel to the Whim Magistrates’ Court to first seek permission.

“The condition would cause an onerous duty and grave hardship on your petitioner since he resides over 75 miles from Whim Magistrates Court and he can only seek permission to leave the jurisdiction on the days that the case would be called. At the moment it is fixed for the 22nd day of June 2015. Further the Magistrate sits at Whim on only two days of the week,” states the court document.

Jagdeo also sought to assure the High Court that although he is a frequent flyer he has no intention of leaving the jurisdiction for an extended period and would appear in court on the date set. “Your petitioner is aware of his legal responsibility to appear in Court on whatever dates the case may be fixed for and he has no intention of absconding.”

Artiga on May 25 released Jagdeo on his own recognizance (self-bail) when he appeared before her to answer the indictable charge filed privately by Social and Political Activist, Christopher Ram.

But the legality of her actions are being questioned. In addition to the fact that no summons had been served on Jagdeo for him to attend court,  an objection is being raised  stating: Unless the condition written on exhibit C is conditioned on the recognisance, the condition written on the case jacket is null and void and that the magistrate has placed your petitioner on self bail acted unreasonably, capriciously and without any proper grounds in declaring the condition in open court and recording it on the case jacket.”

Jagdeo further contends that the Magistrate failed to give your petitioner’s legal advisers who were present in court on the 25th May, 2015 an opportunity to address her on any conditions of bail she was considering to impose.