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Barbados 'host' denies knowing Shanique Myrie

Wednesday, March 20, 2013    

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A woman identified by Shanique Myrie as the person with whom she would have been staying in Barbados when she travelled there in 2011 has denied knowing the Jamaican national or ever communicating with her by phone.

Pamela Clarke made the denial yesterday on day two of the Barbados sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as it continued hearing evidence in the case which 25-year-old Myrie has brought against the Barbados government over allegations of discrimination and abuse.

"I don't know Shanique Myrie. I have never spoken to her on the phone," she told the court, adding under cross-examination that her friend Daniel Forde had spoken to her about a friend of his coming from Jamaica.

She said Forde had asked her to allow him to give his friend her name and number if that person had any difficulties upon arrival in Barbados.

She insisted that Forde did not give her a name but she assumed it was a woman.

She said on March 14, 2011 she received a call from Forde inquiring whether or not anyone had called her to which she replied no.

But she said shortly afterwards she received a call from a person who identified himself as a police officer asking if she had someone coming in from Jamaica.

She said she told the officer that Daniel Forde would collect the visitor and the officer then requested that she provide some form of identification for Forde.

Clarke said she called Forde who informed her he was wearing black because he had just returned from a funeral.

"I did not agree that my name and address be given to the immigration officer," Clarke said, adding, "I did not agree with Danny (Daniel) that anyone could stay."

Clarke said she later received another call from a senior police officer who asked if it was her practice to clear people through immigration, to which she also replied "no".

The other person to testify at the hearing was Alicia Young, the immigration officer who interviewed Myrie.

She told the court that she recalled referring a female passenger to her supervisor and also taking the passenger to the waiting area where she handed the travel documents to her supervisor.

Young told the court that she did not recall processing Myrie and that she had referred the Jamaican to her supervisor because she was a first-time visitor to Barbados and Myrie had indicated she met her host on the Internet.

The immigration officer told the court she was never given any instruction to treat Caribbean Community (Caricom) nationals any differently.

Meantime, the CCJ yesterday ruled that the statements of two people interviewed by a police officer as part of his investigations into Myrie's allegations cannot be used as evidence in the matter.

But the CCJ said that the statements could be used for identification purposes and for cross-examination.

On Monday, lawyers representing the Barbados government had objected to efforts by Myrie's legal team that the statements by the two people be admitted as evidence.

But attorney Kathy Brown, who is representing the Jamaican Government, argued that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accepts all documentation submitted by any party.

The CCJ panel of judges, headed by President Sir Dennis Byron, ruled that the "statements taken from Daniel Forde and Shakira Rowe be admitted for identification purposes and that the claimant, and by necessary extension, the intervener is permitted to use statement contained therein for the purposes of the cross examination of witnesses".

Myrie alleges that she was subjected to a demeaning cavity search at the hands of Barbadian immigration officials, detained overnight in a cell and deported to Jamaica the following day when she travelled to Barbados on March 14, 2011.

She also claimed that she was subjected to derogatory remarks by a Barbadian immigration officer at the Grantley Adams International Airport and is asking the CCJ to determine the minimum standard of treatment applicable to Caricom citizens moving around the region.

On September 27 last year, Jamaica was granted leave to intervene in the matter.

The CCJ, two weeks ago, held its first ever sitting in Jamaica to hear testimonies from several witnesses in the case.

— CMC

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