THE SEWELL CASE: NOT WHAT FRED SMITH SAID IT WAS
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Fred Smith Q C
Justice Stephen Isaacs finally produced his written ruling in the Sewell case Friday 20th November. This was the case in which Fred Smith stupidly claimed the Court freed a Jamaican man from incarceration in a Bahamian lockup on what Mr. Smith said were trumped up charges after nine years. Turns out that once again you cannot believe anything Fred Smith says or writes. First, the man was not in an immigration lock up for 9 years. He was in a lock up for just about one year. The holdup was Immigration made an administrative mistake in that he should simply have been sent back to Jamaica not kept there waiting for his Dad to get a ticket back to Jamaica. The detainees had no legal status in The Bahamas after he was released from prison after several charges against him over a number of years were dropped. Mr. Smith has a talent for exaggeration. He later went to the press and said that the Judge’s ruling had some revolutionary effect in that all illegal immigrants now had to be brought before the courts to determine whether they should be deported or not. The Judge didn’t quite say that either. In any event, the Judge was wrong in law in several areas. In so far as he declared the Immigration Act to be what it is, no problem. However when applied to the facts, the Judge got it wrong. In any event, the decision on the Immigration Act was not necessary to decide the case. The remarks were not essential to ruling. The case succeeded simply because there was an error on the face of the records. Nothing more or less. So the Judges remarks on the matter of immigration do not bind anyone. Strike one against Fred Smith QC or exaggeration again.