(Dominica News Online) — Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has brushed aside questions raised surrounding the saga of Mehul Choski, who was allegedly kidnapped from Antigua and brought to Dominica, saying the island has no more business with him and it was only a minor matter.
Skerrit was pressed on the incident at a press conference on Wednesday.
“The issue of Mr Choski…the charges of illegal entry into Dominica were dropped and Mr Choski was allowed to leave Dominica,” Skerrit responded. “So as far as Dominica is concerned, we have no more business with Mr Choski.”
He went on to say that he doesn’t get involved in ‘minor matters’ when it comes to crime or law enforcement in Dominica.
“And the Choksi matter is a minor thing,” he said. “We have investigations all the time, who coming in illegally and others. So, that’s a minor thing as far as we are concerned.”
But the President of the United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, has a different take on the matter. Speaking on local radio station Q95, Linton said the decision to drop the illegal entry charge against Choski was “nothing but a Skerrit-regime move to extricate itself from the scandal.”
According to Linton, the matter is nothing but minor, describing it as a “big thing.”
“While Mr Skerrit is claiming that they have no more further business with Mehul Choski, Mehul Choski have further business with the government of Dominica because of a claim that has been filed in the High Court of Dominica on the seventh of March, 2023,” he stated.
Linton said he was surprised that the Prime Minister appeared not to know about the filing because it “is a claim about officers of the state.”
“Mehul Choski, in that court filing, was asking the court to rule that he was unlawfully detained, he was wrongfully arrested, falsely imprisoned, assaulted and battered by law enforcement officers in Dominica after he was kidnapped, tortured, ill-treated, forcibly removed from Antigua and Barbuda against his will and ferried to Dominica…” he stated.
Linton pointed out that four Dominican public officers are named as defendants in the filing to include the Attorney General, who is the chief legal advisor to the government.
“The second defendant is the Chief of Police who is responsible for the acts and omission of the officers of the police force,” he stated. “You will recall Lincoln Corbett, the then Chief of Police, met with Mehul Choski at the Cabrits’ Ferry Terminal on the 24th of May, 2021, and authorized the arrest of Mehul Choksi when he knew, or ought to have known, according to the filings in the court, that the arrest was not justified, the arrest was not lawful.”
The third defendant in the filing, according to Linton, is the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“The DPP, Sherma Dalrymple, swore to an affidavit that Mr Choksi entered Dominica illegally when she knew, or ought to have known, that this was not true and the arrest and charge of Mr Choksi was neither justifiable nor were they lawful,” he said.
The fourth defendant, Linton said, is Sergeant Allyne Maximea who is the investigating officer with respect to the charges brought against Choski.
“Sergeant Maximea arrested Mr Choski on the 24th of May, 2021, claiming he met him at Toucari Bay, which is not an official port of entry, when he knew, or he had ought to have known, that Mr Choski entered Dominica under police escort at the Cabrits’ Cruise Ship Berth after his kidnappers who were aboard the vessel they traveled [on] from Antigua, handed him over to officers on the Dominica Coast Guard vessel, the PB Lugay,” he said.
Linton stated that Choski’s High Court filing is claiming “malicious prosecution, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, breach of constitutional rights, assault and battery and injury.”
“He is asking the court to award special damages in the amount of $4,260,332 .64,” Linton remarked. “In addition to those special damages, he is asking for the court’s discretion in the awards of damages for malicious prosecution, damages including aggravated and exemplary damages, damages for the breach of his constitutional rights.”
He said the impression given to the people of Dominica is that the matter is over and done with, which is not the case.
“You get the impression that listening to this, that Mr Skerrit didn’t know anything about this? The Attorney General?” he noted. “The main defendant in the suit by Mr Choksi did not bother to tell the Prime Minister that a matter against the state was filed on the 7th of March, 2023?”
Linton said as far as Skerrit is concerned Choksi has legal issues only in Antigua.
“He has a major legal matter dealing with in Dominica which Mr Skerrit conveniently seems not to know anything about,” he stated.
Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]