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ICO pushes on with appeal

Acting Information Commissioner Jan Liebaers plans to push on with his appeal of the Chief Justice’s decision not to disclose the Ritch immigration report.

His stance comes on the heels of Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s decision Monday  (4 April ) issuing a certificate blocking the release of the report even to Mr Liebaers.

The tussle over the Ritch report has been going on since last year.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin has adamantly refused to share the report going so far as to certify it as legal privilege.

Mr Liebaers says the Governor’s order does not directly impact the appeal which challenges specific issues raised in the Chief Justice Smellie’s ruling.

“We are still dealing with a potential loophole has been created where legal professional privilege could be applied to any number of documents which we would not be able to see or review which I do not think is correct and how the freedom of information law is expected to work,” Mr Liebaers said.

The ICO is seeking to review the report to rule on two FOI requests before him.

We reached out to the Governor for interview, but her office declined.

Instead the office shared her statement on issuing the certificate saying, “In light of the recent ruling by the Chief Justice, the Governor does not consider that further costly and time consuming litigation on this matter is in the public interest,” the statement said.

Cayman 27 pressed the office on whether Governor Kilpatrick’s position was at Premier McLaughlin’s behest, but her office said “the Governor makes her own decisions and believes that this is proportionate.”

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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