Trinidad: Judge orders Sandals secret deal disclosed

By Trinidad Express

 Share This On:

Consultant surveyor Afra Raymond leaves San Fernando High Court this morning with his attorney Kingsley Walesby after winning the right to have information on government’s deal with Sandals resort

(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – CHARTERED surveyor Afra Raymond has won the right to have certain documents, which so far have been kept secret, involving government’s deal with the Sandals resort to construct a 500-750-room hotel in Tobago.

Justice Frank Seepersad this morning ruled in favour of Raymond in the San Fernando High Court, and also granted him leave to seek judicial review of government’s decision to withold details about the Sandals deal. Finance Minister Colm Imbert reiterated in the 2018-19 budget the construction of the hotel for Sandals’ Golden Grove, Tobago project.

But way back in March, Raymond had sought disclosue under the Freedom of Information Act, in letters to the Prime Minister’s office, of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), but got no reply. In a lawsuit for judicial review of government’s inaction in furnishing him with the MOU, Raymond contended that the resort will be constructed on prime state lands in Tobago, the cost of which the State will bear for Sandals.

Further, Raymond submitted in an affidavit, its construction will have an impact on the use of water, electricity, solid waste and further infrastructural development of the airport in Tobago. The consultant valuer and surveyor contended that as a result, the relevant stakeholders ought to have been consulted.

Raymond named the permanent secretary to the Prime Minister as respondent in the lawsuit. Attorney Kingsley Walesby represented him and Seeperasd delivered an oral ruling this morning. The judge granted Raymond a declaration that he was entitled to the information and further ordered the prime minister’s office to provide him with the MOU.

The State was not represented but the case will come up for a case management conference on October 29. It is expected that by then, the Attorney General’s department will have been served with the lawsuit and will file a response.

(8)(0)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

3 comments

  1. So do you want it or not ?? What Trinidad don't want I am quite others will jump at it in a second. Cuba wants it. Columbia wants it Belize wants it Costa Rica asking for it Butch Stewart has no time to waste.

    (0)(4)
  2. Congratulations to Mr. Afra Raymond on his victory in this case. I have been saying for a long time that this is what needs to be done in Saint Lucia with the agreement that has been signed by the Government of Saint Lucia with the DSH Project. The agreement has never been disclosed by the Government but instead has been leaked and made public. We need to see the agreement which they claim has been amended in parts. It needs to be made PUBLIC!

    (6)(0)
    • But do we have a law in the books similar to "Freedom of Information Act" ? I doubt politicians would pass legislation such as that

      (0)(0)
  3. Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.