By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
CANADIAN Bruno Rufa has been granted leave by the Supreme Court to bring judicial review proceedings against Director of Immigration William Pratt for the decision taken to arbitrarily cancel and revoke his permission to remain in The Bahamas for 150 days.
Mr Rufa, a condominium owner at Coral Beach Apartments and president of Coral Beach Management Company, was told by the Assistant Director of Immigration on December 23 that the Director of Immigration had decided to cancel and revoke the permission that was given to him on November 23, 2015, to land and remain The Bahamas for 150 days until April 20, 2016.
The Canadian was further ordered to wrap up his affairs in The Bahamas within seven days by December 30, and leave the country.
Through his attorneys at Callenders and Co, Mr Rufa filed an application for leave to apply for judicial review proceedings against the Director of Immigration on December 24. He also filed an affidavit in support of his application. Justice Petra Hanna Weekes granted a consent order on December 29.
According to his attorneys, Mr Rufa has allegedly been subjected to multiple arrests and threats of deportation by officials from the Department of Immigration. On December 23, four officers went to Mr Rufa at his home and asked if he would come to the Immigration Department.
While there, Mr Rufa who was accompanied by his lawyer, was asked by the Assistant Director of Immigration in Freeport for his passport and landing card. He allegedly told Mr Rufa that he has been directed by the Director of Immigration to cancel his permission to be in The Bahamas and that he must wind up his affairs within seven days and leave the country.
Fred Smith, QC, said the order was abrupt and came without any prior warning after Mr Rufa had already been granted permission on his return to The Bahamas on November 23, to land and stay for 150 days.
In the judicial review, Mr Rufa is seeking an order quashing the decisions by the Director of Immigration, a declaration that the Director of Immigration in making the decision breached his legitimate expectation to remain in The Bahamas until April 2016, and an interlocutor injunction restraining the director or through his agents or employees, from deporting, expelling, escorting or seeing out or causing the Canadian to be removed from The Bahamas.
Earlier last year, Mr Rufa was arrested and charged with working in the country illegally - he was allegedly found working at the pool bar at the Coral Beach apartment complex in Grand Bahama without a work permit. Mr Rufa denies the charge and the matter is still pending in Magistrates Court.