The same day that the Cabinet warned it will deport foreigners who commit drug offences in Antigua and Barbuda, it declared two men from St. Vincent and the Grenadines persona non grata, even though they were not convicted for the offences with which they had been charged.
An emergency ex-parte injunction granted to halt the deportation of the men late Thursday night, was discontinued yesterday after the court was told of the declaration of persona non grata for Glenroy Pierre and Godfrey King. On Tuesday, the duo walked free of charges related to a $1.8 million-dollar drug bust at Falmouth earlier this year, after their lawyer challenged the conflicting evidence. Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Anthony Armstrong subsequently withdrew the charges.
Attorney Andrew O’Kola, who got the emergency injunction around 10 p.m. Thursday, said he took the matter to the court to halt the removal of the men who had been taken to the V.C. Bird International Airport for deportation without any notification being given to their lawyer or without any documentation to support the action.
O’Kola argued that the men have been living in Antigua for several years, have families here and other ties to the community, and they are citizens of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Justice Iain Morley halted the removal and scheduled a hearing for noon yesterday. At that hearing, the documents showing the decision of the Cabinet were provided to the men and their attorney.
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