Government to challenge BPM injunction application

Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin (File photo)

Attorney General, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin, has addressed the injunction application filed against the construction of a new airport in Barbuda.

Two Barbudans filed an application for leave for judicial review in the High Court on Friday, July 6. Along with that, they applied for an injunction to have the construction of the new international airport in Barbuda brought to an immediate halt pending the outcome of their substantive case.

 “The government will be defending the matter vigorously in the interest of the development of Antigua and Barbuda and in particular Barbuda’s economy. It is regrettable that there are elements in Barbuda who are determined to stifle the country’s development for their own personal and private gain,” Benjamin asserted.

He added that he is satisfied that the law will take its course, though, in his estimation the injunction is completely unnecessary.

The attorney general said that the injunction application was totally ill-conceived, has absolutely no legal basis and most importantly, according to him, an injunction cannot be brought against the Crown.

On the other hand, Damani Tabor, public relations officer of the United Progressive Party (UPP), stated on OBSERVER AM yesterday that the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) has good legal standing for filing the injunction application.

“Barbudans are totally above board for taking action. This is just another example of ALP lawlessness because this project is in violation of not only our environmental laws but our physical planning laws since there has been complete environmental impact assessment and DCA has not approved it,” Tabor said.

Tabor went on to reiterate his point by drawing reference to the YIDA project that started without carrying out an environmental impact assessment as prescribed by the laws of Antigua and Barbuda even though the project is situated in an environmentally sensitive area.

According to the PRO, these actions highlight just how much the Gaston Browne administration has no regard for the

environment or the rule of law and he added that it is highly hypocritical for them to now try to accuse Barbudans of trying to halt development.

These comments come mere days after Prime Minister Gaston Browne referred to Barbudans as being lawless. Browne said that

he is willing to confront head on, what he deems a culture of lawlessness on the sister island even if it means directing the police and military to lock up unruly Barbudans.