PM’s matter against Gary Griffith to be heard by Appeal Court on December 20th

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PM’s matter against Gary Griffith to be heard by Appeal Court on December 20th

December 20th, 2022… That’s the day the Appeal Court will hear the urgent application by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, to overturn a High Court ruling which prohibits him from publishing a report into a firearm licence audit.

Justices Nolan Bereaux, Peter Rajkumar and Maria Wilson fixed the hearing for 10am on that date, as they were unprepared to hear the application for an expedited hearing on Thursday.
This was due to the fact that the judge did not have an opportunity to read the affidavits filed in the matter.

On Monday, December 13, High Court judge Devindra Rampersad granted the injunction in favour of former commissioner of police Gary Griffith after the state failed to give an undertaking that the audit report would not be laid in Parliament.

Griffith claims the publication of the report, or any part of it, would expose him to public ridicule and, if laid in Parliament, would protect Rowley and the media, by qualified or absolute privilege, from defamation claims for damages.

In court on Thursday, lead attorney for the Prime Minister Russell Martineau, SC, argued that Justice Rampersad’s order was too wide and prevents his client even from sharing the contents of the report with the President. Martineau said the injunction also prohibited the Prime Minister from sharing the report with anyone else who is adversely affected.

“It is not an interim order. It is a blanket order,” Martineau submitted. He argued that the width of the order was detrimental to public administration.