AG Armour’s absurd position

Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC. - File photo
Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC. - File photo

THE STANCE taken by Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, in relation to the latest developments out of Barbados in the Brent Thomas affair is disappointing.

The Barbados government has conceded liability for Mr Thomas’s unlawful abduction in 2022.

But for our Attorney General, this is apparently neither here nor there.

“I have noted the statements in the media,” Mr Armour said this week, without committing to more.

The matter is now subject to a local court appeal, but what is not in dispute are the bare facts.

Mr Thomas, a gun dealer who has supplied the protective services and state entities for decades, was in Barbados in 2022. He was due to fly to Miami to meet with his cardiologist.

But at around 3am on October 5, while asleep in his hotel, he was jolted awake by banging on the door and shouts of: “Police!” A group of black-clad armed men entered and took him to a police station. He was placed in a cage. He was not told why.

Mr Thomas was eventually taken to an airport and handed over to TT police, who escorted him, aboard a plane, to this country.

It was the culmination of a Kafkaesque campaign of harassment that led a High Court judge last year to deem the State’s conduct grossly abusive, unconstitutional and “a shameful blot on this country.”

Separately, the Court of Appeal also knocked state lawyers who had filed a satellite appeal in Mr Thomas’s lawsuit, saying the appeal was “strange” and a “disproportionate use of the parties’ resources.”

Mr Armour’s position on not immediately discontinuing this matter suggests he believes culprits can be both innocent and guilty at the same time.

He may feel some nuance within the local proceedings might breed a positive legal outcome and could somehow absolve moral wrong.

Yet it is now incontrovertible that local officers participated in serious unlawfulness, whether at home or abroad. That alone is reason for pause.

The involvement of a police officer whom the Cabinet recently promoted, enthusiastically, over others to the rank of deputy commissioner of police only adds another layer to this disturbing affair.

The AG’s stance is part of a wider pattern in which he has proven unafraid to embrace absurd contradictions.

He has been both a junior note-taker and a senior counsel, disqualified and qualified, against the Privy Council, and seemingly all for the colonial savings clause. He has counted the views of overruled judges to turn rulings into non-rulings.

This penchant for contradiction extends to his application of the sub-judice rule, in which he is free, in the media and in Parliament, to comment on cases, while no one else is.

All this from the titular head of the bar.


"AG Armour’s absurd position"

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