Gov’t “extremely surprised” by judgment in Juffali’s case

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Gov’t “extremely surprised” by judgment in Juffali’s case
Juffali
Juffali
Juffali

PRESS RELEASE – The Government of Saint Lucia re-affirms its view that the United Kingdom (UK) court proceedings concerning the application by Ms. Christina Estrada for permission to apply for financial relief from Dr. Walid Juffali after their divorce is a private family matter between Dr. Juffali and his former wife, and has no bearing on his duties as Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

While the Government has said in the past that it is for the courts to decide if diplomatic immunity can be invoked in this matter, the Government is extremely surprised by Monday’s judgment, and specifically by Mr. Justice Hayden’s comments about Dr. Juffali’s status as Saint Lucia’s Representative to the IMO. As a sovereign state, it is Saint Lucia’s responsibility and sole right to decide who our diplomatic representatives are or should be.

As we have stated before, Dr. Juffali’s appointment followed full due process. His accreditation as a diplomat was approved by the IMO and was immediately recognised and confirmed by the hosting nation – the UK. Neither the IMO, nor the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, raised any concerns about the appointment. Dr. Juffali was immediately added to the publicly-available Diplomatic List, thereby confirming his diplomatic status and entitlement to full diplomatic immunity

The Government remains of the view that to have waived Dr. Juffali’s diplomatic immunity for the purposes of resolving property disputes arising out of divorce proceedings would have created a precedent that could compromise current and future Saint Lucian diplomats in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Indeed, if Justice Hayden’s judgment on diplomatic immunity is allowed to stand, it will have serious repercussions for the entire diplomatic community in the United Kingdom.

The Government understands that Dr. Juffali will be appealing Monday’s judgment. We cannot therefore comment in more detail until we know the outcome of the appeal, but will do so in due course.

(10)(187)

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32 COMMENTS

  1. On a serious note this situation is really sad and disappointing. Imagine putting our trust in someone to represent us at the highest international levels where like it or not, you in the spotlight, and that is what they end up doing? there are no words.... to describe the breach of trust, the lack of integrity and all the other negatives associated with this affair. We need to examine and vet very carefully the types we send in diplomatic positions. judging by what we have now, there is no vetting process when placing people in such a sensitive position like a diplomatic post. It is not a job for your friends and family. it is a job for capable and professional people. because as this example shows the whole country can be affected when wrong appointments are made even when we dont realise it at the time. For e.g. what if England decide to put visa on us? The Canadians did. Again poor represenation overseas.

    (1)(0)

  2. Hon. Alva Baptiste.....Where are you and what do you have to say about all this controversy on" Foreign Affairs"?

    (36)(0)

    • Please and Thanks - the SLP has to totally distance themselves from Ernest Hilaire if they are to stand a small chance at even securing a few votes in the next election. Ernest Hilaire will be the downfall of the SLP - get rid of him NOWWWWW or lose my vote!

      (5)(0)

  3. REALLY??????
    " the Government is extremely surprised by Monday’s judgment,"
    A blind man could have seen this was on the horizon.
    We the people of St.Lucia are thoroughly embarrassed by this situation yet our government is still putting out such a Press release. Does this indicate the intelligence of the people at the helm of this ship? Are they so intellectually challenged they do not to realize that they are further harming the country with these types of press releases.
    Once I heard the PM say that he reads the blogs placed on popular social media,If so it definitely indicated he really doesn't give a flying Fish about our country;since the vast majority of comments posted about this Jufali Affair has been to just admit there was a Boo Boo made , right out wrong and move on.
    But apparently one Saudi Billionaire is much much more than the people of st. Lucia.
    I wish the UK and US government would Investigate this matter further to find out why there is such blind loyalty to a Saudi Billionaire by certain members of the St Lucian government.

    (26)(1)

  4. I too am disappointed by the British courts judgement on Juffali. I am not convinced that the courts has jurisdiction.. The SLG does not help its position, by its this is a judicial decision and when the decision is pronounced call foul. It is my view that our country should not have been drawn into this parody.
    Now for damage control or damage out of control, for instance one action we can take is withdraw our diplomatic team from London and send the British HC home. We can dump Juffali. We can grovel to the British and beg forgiveness.
    More important we must learn to be more open in our dealings stop taking St.Lucians for fools, had the SLG not try to conceal Juffalis appointment there would be no issue
    today. I fear there is more fallout and collateral damage to come from this incident.
    In the end I ask was Juffali worth bringing our country into international disrepute.
    We must now also question the judgement of some of our so called leaders.If this was the corporate world some heads would role but in St. Lucia the elite can do as they please with no repercussions.

    (7)(17)

  5. Stop wasting time on political garbage and find some thing useful to do with you all time .I really do not see all the fuss about Dr. Juffali even if he gives his wife half of all that he has you all illiterates, will never acquire what he has in his life time.So go find a life for you all self .

    (1)(30)

    • OK because is you that have a life and is you that have acquired close to what he has. Shut the hell up! The word illiterate is always thrown around by you disgusting hacks when the masses no longer take your fallacies as truth. You're an idiot.

      (7)(40)

      • AA St.Lucian really have time, I will say it a again stop wasting time on political garbage.Does that sound like a hark. Thank you for reminding me, that you are an idiot .If hark is your definition of some one who do not waste time on politicians and political garbage maybe you should really spend some time to figure out who is the idiot. It really take an idiot like you to want to have everyone singing your same tune, and if they don't ,then they should shut the hell up.I guess that how you treat your children and others, the bully mentality . You really need therapy. While you will spending half of your day on a line to stain your finger in red ink just to say I voted .I will spend that same half day trying to figure out how to make money off your stupidity. Stop wasting time on politicians and their garbage !!!!!!

        (0)(0)

  6. ON THE ONE END THE SLP HACKS ATE SAYING THAT JUFFALI'S DIVORCE IS A PRIVATE MATTER AND THAT DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY DOES NOT APPLY FOR THIS PRIVATE MATTER BUT ON THE OTHER END THE PM IS SAYING THAT IS IS SURPRISED BY THE RULING TO STRIP JUFFALU OF HIS IMNUNITY.

    THIS THING IS INDEED DEEPER THAN IT LOOKS. MY ONLY CONCLUSION AFTER FOLLOWING ALL THE STATEMENTS PUT OUT BY THE PM ON THE JUFFALI AFFAIR IS THAT THIS STATEMENT WAS INTENDED FOR JUFFALI TO READ AND TO IN SOME INSIDIOUS WAY SUGGEST TO JUFFALI THAT HE HAS THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

    ANY STRAIGHT THINKING PERSON CAN CONCLUDE THAT THIS MATTER HAS BEEN A DISASTER FOR ST. LUCIA ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF NEGATIVE PUBLICITY.

    CERTAINLY THE PM WOULD NOT INSINUATE TO JUFFALI THAT HE HAS THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT IF HE WAS AS CONCERNED ABOUT THE TIMING OF JUFFALI'S APPOINTMENT OR THE ALLEGED INTENDED PURPOSE.

    JUFFALI HAS DONE NOTHING FOR ST. LUCIA ALTHOUGH HE CLAIMS TO LOVE SAINT LUCIA SO MUCH.

    REMEMBER HOW THE PM TREATED MR TOM CHOU FROM TAIWAN WHO DID SO MUCH TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR SO MANY SAINT LUCIANS. KENNY DOESN'T LIKE TO BE DOUBLE CROSSED WHY HASN'T HE SENT JUFFALI PACKING? THE ANSWER IS OBVIOUS. JUFFALI HAS HIM IN SOME SORT OF BIND AND WE CAN ONLY HOPE THAT TIME WILL TELL.

    (42)(0)

  7. I did not read the press release in its entirety, but looked at the last paragraph. Why is the SLP allowing someone to write such mad drivel when clearly all evidence suggest that someone deliberately used their position of power for personal gain, benefits and to deliberately circumvent laws in a country where St. lucia is supposed to be represented? Is that not an international crime? Do u think we stupid enough to think that the British is acting this way without a shred of evidence on the individuals involved? Dont you think they have every bit of information on exactly what went on? who got what , when and why? We only heard the judgment but we sure dont have the back story to all those questions. well they coming for u all in the Banana Republic and I for one awaiting with baited breath. You all were man enough to committ international crime with impunity, now be man enough to pay the price.

    (10)(0)

  8. The judge concluded that Juffalis'  diplomatic status amounted to an “entirely artificial construct”.

    I wonder if the UK has other interests / objections to Juffalis' diplomatic immunity status other than because of his present divorce case.  (and of course because its an "entirely artificial construct”).

    Does this diplomatic immunity give him (Juffali) tax privileges in the UK?   I don't know, I'm asking the question.  If the answer is yes, I don't know his financial setup with dividends, salaries, payments, etc from his various companies etc in Saudi Arabia, but if his monies are paid into his UK bank accounts - as he is a resident of the UK - could this appointment give him tax exemptions in the UK?  Just asking.

    There's alot going on that we don't know (yet), so much secrecy, no questions answered - it all arouses suspicion.  I guess it's all being investigated by the British 'powers that be' now.

    Still no answer on how the PM and Juffali met and what went on to create this situation.

    But Juffali still owes us a Diabetic Research Centre, if he does not cough up , can we take legal action for a broken promise?

    (7)(0)

  9. The law professor dropped the ball again. Didn't he see that coming? He should know that Brits would question the authenticity of Juffali's ambassadorship.

    (25)(0)

  10. So now you see why little boys must have respect for grown men. When Mr. Juffali sends his agents to get back his money for services he did not receive, I hope these guys can show face?

    (10)(0)

  11. What must be understood is that there are diplomacy is practiced on several fronts, in the case of Juffali it was a technical Committee. If a country wishes to employ a diplomat to serve as ambassador to another country there is no problem in that once he is accepted.

    However if one is to be a diplomat serving on a technical committee it may be different in that the person has to suit the purpose. Example, if appointing a man to a medical committee would make him a diplomat and as such he would enjoy some level of immunity, if We then go ahead and appoint the man to the medical committee when he is not a doctor, what can be assessed from the situation?

    It could be interpreted that he can make no vital contribution to the work of the committee and in that light he was appointed primarily to gain immunity as apposed to representing the sending country in the desired medical field.

    Therefore it stands to reason that the motive for his appointment was an ulterior one. The principles of administrative law dictates that there is a cause for action when an ulterior is used. Another assessment of intention can be implied when it was revealed that the gentleman never attended any meeting.

    If a man buys some land and has never exercised any right of ownership or taken any step towards ownership, another man comes and occupies that land for 30 years, can the purchaser come now to claim?

    It follows if a man is appointed to a post and has not showed up for work from the date of his appoint, barring sick leave he would not be considered as accepting and taking up such employment. Therefore rights are only enforceable on performance in exercise of those rights.

    English law is reputable for seeking out the intention of the parties rather than looking at the surface. In this case they would seek to answer whether the real intention was for Juffali to represent the sending country in the desired field and not merely whether he was properly appointed or not.

    Anyone with a good knowledge of UK law would know that and predicted that the judge would make such a ruling. Going against such a ruling would have firstly denied justice to the victim and secondly would have contradicted one of the greatest maxims of equity which is "coming to justice with clean hands." It would have allowed Juffali to resist a challenge to justice while reling on an advantage improperly obtained by an ulterior motive.

    (158)(501)

  12. Stop dragging the whole diplomatic community in the UK in your nonsense. They have never had an alleged rogue diplomat allegedly sell diplomacy to anyone Billionaire for personal gain. The next step is to call on the person involved to face an integrity commission. If you have nothing to hide, come clean!

    (64)(0)

  13. "While the Government has said in the past that it is for the courts to decide if diplomatic immunity can be invoked in this matter". Yes, nice to know that the government can retract their statement. So, why the hell they are extremely surprised? Let the Brits deal with their situation and to hell with Jufalli.

    (48)(0)

  14. Sometimes i wonder if this government proof reads the madness they say . Day in and day out i am starting to believe there is more to this story.

    By the way , where is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and what is his take on this matter ? Why does this government doesn't think of its people first ,and stand firm for their citizens rather than jeopardizing the whole of st.lucia for a foreigner ?

    Do you know the amount of families that depends on other St.lucians from England and the opportunities England provides St.lucians ??

    Think this government forgot and not to mention visa to America, visa to Canada hmm maybe visa to England .

    OH WAIT, THE EU IS COMING BACK FOR THEM ALSO !!!! please ring the bell so sane people can run this country.

    (103)(1)

      • He is hiding in the Republic of Laborie. When big men having conversation, little boys must sit down and listen. Alva now knows that he is the little boy.

        (0)(0)

  15. I am not surprised that this government is surprised! Different scene same actors. The make-up and the mentality of the characters in this circus is dominated by short-term or myopic thinking. Everything done is focussed on just winning the next election. The yes-men and associated characteristic stooges are there mainly for their do-no-work over-generous salaries, and their at least "do two-terms" pensions.

    History repeats itself. Most of us have come to expect from the SLP not much more.

    (34)(0)

  16. SLP government, at the end of the day "Money talks and BS walks" so a billionaire's money can persuade.

    If you do a check on Juffali, nothing suggests that the man has criminal dealings, nothing suggest that he shouldn't be a diplomat prior to his marriage turning sour.
    HOWEVER
    When you look at certain timelines of events around the time he was made a diplomat it appears that that diplomatic status was purposely sought.
    So I am asking would a pending divorce automatically disqualify an individual from becoming a diplomat?
    If it does not , then it can be concluded that the IMO and the host country would see no reason not to approve.
    The approval of the IMO and the host country does not mean that Juffali's did not deliberately seek diplomatic status.

    So let me ask.
    Did Ernest seek out Juffali because of what he could do for St.Lucia ?????
    Or did Juffali and his team approach us?????
    Who approach who?????
    I am subject to correction but this appointment comes at no cost to St.Lucia because he loves St.Lucia so much.

    So is it a case where Juffali is so philanthropic, that he sees a third world country and says, I would love to be an asset to this country, I would love to make a contribution to the health sector in St.Lucia so I am going to present by credentials to the lovely nation because I love it so much.
    OR....

    Which one is it?

    You guys are so quick to talk about all little pot hole fixed and bridge constructed with all pomp and ceremony (you'll definition of progress) that a philanthropic billionaire who loves St.Lucia, who is approved by the IMO and UK , who is giving a research lab that would start a health revolution is just something you keep to yourselves, I mean after all St.Lucians will celebrate a pot hole and a bridge built but not a billionaire giving us a one of a kind lab and who is a rep at no cost to us.Yes no need to mention his appointment.

    I could just imagine all the colorful language that must have been used for how he would be an asset to St.Lucia.

    N.B just because the IMO and host country approve his appointment does not take away from his true intention no matter how you spin it.
    History will show you that some organizations and countries including first world countries have been duped before, especially when money talks and BS walks.

    (48)(1)

  17. Guys you have really lost your way. Cover ups days are over. Deal with the issue as you must and it will go away. Stop pulling wool over our eyes. We have had enough. Stop!

    (46)(0)

  18. You all always "surprised," "shocked," "appalled," "disturbed," "disappointed," at everything nowadays. What you fail to realize is that the people of St. Lucia feel this way about the nonsense you all have been doing. The rest of the world does not take its timing from the SLP! When will you all get that through your thick skulls? What is wrong with creating a precedent anyway? St. Lucia should have gone boldly forward and assert that it would not be used or allow any diplomat flying our flag to put our tiny island in disrepute.

    Believe it or not what you all have tried to avoid in precedent is what you have inadvertently created for St. Lucia. Now, we will forever be seen as the country which has had a diplomat who served practically no purpose stripped of his immunity simply because our government refused, for whatever reason, to withdraw that immunity from him. What has happened is that it has opened up to international discussion the use of diplomatic immunity to circumvent the laws of various countries.

    The very precedent you all did not want to make has been made in a grander and more glaring manner. We are now written about in publications across the world like hungry third world despots. Due diligence my toe!

    All the smoke and mirrors, distractions, and nonsense talk did not work. You should be ashamed. And if Juffali appeals this decision it could prove to be even more embarrassing to Saint Lucia because now someone would have to validate the immunity that he seeks to invoke...the same immunity you all said he didn't have in this matter.

    There MUST be an inquiry into this matter. Nothing less will expose the belly of this beast. All those involved should resign. The credibility of our Citizenship by Investment Program is seriously tainted by this individual. Where is the due diligence of the people associated with this program anyway?

    The people DEMAND an inquiry NOW!!

    (78)(0)

  19. I would believe this government if the release read Gov't "extremely disappointed"..... There will be no serious repercussions for the entire diplomatic community in the United Kingdom, if the process appears to be fraud or suspect like the Juffali's. Now is it a case now that the government is interfering in a domestic matter? Let the UK do what they want to do. Will you go to the UK and tell the judge that they cannot take their diplomat to court. I believe if you could you would.

    (20)(0)

  20. I don't know if you guys don't get it, or if you just assume that the rest of us don't.

    At this point, as far as St Lucia's involvement is concerned, it is almost irrelevant whether the case is between Dr Juffali and his wife over divorce proceedings, between Dr Juffali and his neighbour about a dog messing in his yard, or between Dr Juffali and London Transport about not paying enough bus fare. The unprecedented move by the FCO to ask St Lucia to waive the immunity and now the ruling by the judge show that the Brits clearly believe that St Lucia is actively colluding with Juffali to undermine or abuse their system.

    In all the press releases and political statements from the government, I have not once heard them mention something Juffali has done for us in his "official" capacity as our IMO representative. All we are doing is sticking our tongue in the Brits face, beating our chest and saying we can appoint who we want to be a diplomat. This appointment is questionable at best, but now we claim to be defending it based on principle.

    On the legal front, St Lucia/ Juffali may well prevail eventually. But is this really in our long term interest? Are we assuming that if the British government believes we are deliberately abusing their system that they have no other options available if we win in court?

    I would urge the PM and his advisors, instead of all this grandstanding and bravado, please find a more "diplomatic" way to diffuse this. Unfortunately, it will be us ordinary St Lucians who will suffer any consequences arising from this foolishness, not those who created the problem in the first place.

    (53)(0)

    • Pal the diplomatic way to diffuse this, that ship sail already long time! The way to have diffused it was to lift diplomatic immunity in St.Lucia's best interests and allow him to face the courts. And chances are, he could have prevailed in the matter because its not like the alimony is not hefty enough already. He could have just faced the courts and there is a possibility the woman would not have prevailed. But no we made it worst. we showed outright disregard for international law, British Law, St. Lucia law, every law imaginable. What the British had asked of St. Lucia is not unprecedented. Our response however is. It is the norm to ask a country to lift immunity in the case of personal matters. thats just procedure. We should have just gone along like most countries do in those instances.

      (15)(1)

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