UWI begins presenting witnesses in Bain case

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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THE University of the West Indies yesterday began presenting its witnesses in the case brought against the institution by Professor Brendan Bain over his termination as director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART).

The UWI called its first witness, Professor Peter Figueroa, after Bain closed his case following seven days of evidence from various witnesses in an attempt to prove he'd been wronged by the university.

Bain is suing the UWI for breach of contract, breach of constitutional rights, and defamation over the university's decision to terminate his contract.

The UWI fired the noted health professional last May after alleging that his constituents had lost confidence in him following his participation in a case in Belize where a gay man was challenging the buggery laws of that country.

Bain's final witness yesterday was Shawn Wenzel, an information technology consultant, who testified that articles written about Bain's termination by the UWI and subsequent demonstrations in his favour were picked up by various websites and news agencies and published in 15,000 places across the globe, including Europe and the United States of America.

During his evidence-in-chief, Figueroa quoted from a report from the medical journal The Lancet which indicated that HIV is more prevalent among men who have sex with men in countries that retain buggery laws.

Figueroa's witness statement was entered into evidence and only parts of it were amplified by Queen's Counsel Hugh Small, who is representing the UWI.

Under cross-examination from Georgia Gibson Henlin, Figueroa said he had cautioned Bain about giving evidence in the case in Belize because the impression could be formed that he was in favour of the church group that was opposing the challenge to the constitutionality of that country's buggery laws.

Figueroa's cross-examination continues today.

-- Paul Henry

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