By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
AFTER being vindicated following his unlawful deportation early this year, Canadian homeowner Bruno Rufa is again back in the Supreme Court seeking leave to apply for a judicial review of the recent arbitrary expulsion decision on December 23 by the Director of Immigration to cancel and revoke his permission to be in The Bahamas, and that he “wrap up his affairs” within seven days and leave the country by December 30.
Justice Petra Hanna Weekes presided over the application hearing in the Supreme Court in Grand Bahama yesterday.
Mr Rufa, a condominium owner at the Coral Beach Hotel and president and director of the Coral Beach Management Company, was granted on entry on November 23, permission to land and be in the Bahamas for 150 days until April 20, 2016. However, last week Mr Rufa was informed by the Assistant Director of Immigration that he had been directed by the Director of Immigration to cancel his permission to be in The Bahamas and that he had seven days to leave the country.
This came following Mr Rufa’s vindication in a ruling by Justice Hanna Weekes on October 29 in an initial judicial review brought by Mr Rufa against the Minister of Immigration, Director of Immigration and Governor General of The Bahamas over the decision on February 18 which deemed him an undesirable and to be deported.
In her ruling, Justice Weekes found that the Canadian was unlawfully arrested and deported and that there were breaches of the natural rules of justice.
In his latest application for judicial review, Mr Rufa, through his attorney Fred Smith, QC, and partner at Callenders & Co, is seeking an order quashing the decisions of December 23 and a declaration that the Director of Immigration in making the decisions breached Mr Rufa’s legitimate expectation to remain in the Bahamas until April 2016 in accordance with the permission granted on November 23 and that, in the circumstances, the cancellation of his stay breached the rules of natural justice.
In the application, Mr Rufa and his representative are also alternatively seeking an order requiring the Director of Immigration to properly exercise his discretion under sections 22 and/or 23 of the Immigration Act and in accordance with Article 20(2) of the Constitution of The Bahamas to consider whether to give Mr Rufa leave to land and remain in The Bahamas until April 14, 2016, alternatively until final determination of the various court proceedings.
Mr Rufa also has a criminal matter pending in the Freeport Magistrate’s Court concerning charges that he was allegedly engaged in gainful occupation contrary the Immigration Act, early this year. It is alleged that Mr Rufa was working at the pool bar at Coral Beach Hotel without a work permit.
Additionally, Mr Smith is seeking on behalf of his client an interlocutory injunction restraining the Director of Immigration directly or through his agents, appointees or employees (including the Department of Immigration and Immigration Officers therein) from deporting, expelling, escorting, seeing out or causing Mr Rufa to be removed from The Bahamas, and from cancelling Mr Rufa’s permission to land and be in The Bahamas otherwise than in accordance with the law.