High Court judge rules arrest of American political consultant unlawful; awards substantial amount

Photo caption: Political Consultant Matthew McMillan

By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St Kitts, On Monday 31, 2019 – An award winning political consultant who was unlawfully arrested by the authorities nearly two years ago has won his case against Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Sen the Hon Vincent Byron Jr and the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force.

In a judgment handed down in the St Kitts High Court on Monday 28 October 2019, His Lordship Mr Justice Eddy Ventose found the Attorney General and an Inspector with the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force, liable for unlawful arrest of Matthew McMillan of BuzzMaker in December 2017.

Attorney Jason Hamilton represented Matthew McMillan

McMillan was unlawfully arrested whilst working with the opposition Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) during the 2017 Nevis Island Administration elections. He was detained and formally arrested on December 4, 2017, whilst attempting to leave the Federation at the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport.

McMillan, a US citizen’s freedom of movement was constricted for approximately 12 hours before being released without charge.

In his judgment, Justice Ventose ordered that Mr. McMillan be awarded a substantial sum for damages incurred related to his unlawful arrest. The sum has not been disclosed.

“Political victimisation should not happen to anyone in the Caribbean,” said Mr. McMillan in response to his court victory. “Politicians must realise that if they cannot illegally victimise and harass people over their political activity.”

“The region is blessed with a sound and independent judiciary. I hope to inspire all Kittitians and Nevisians wronged by this government to not give up – but, to stand up for your rights. It does not matter where you are born or where you come from, if you are wronged by government, you should seek justice – because, you too can win,” McMillan concluded.

McMillan was represented by attorney Jason Hamilton while the Attorney General and the Police Inspector were represented by Dane Hamilton QC of Antigua.

You might also like