The trial date of a lawsuit in which eight Venezuelans are challenging a decision of the Immigration Division to deny them entry into the country in March is expected to be set in July.
During a brief hearing of the case at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spainyesterday, High Court Judge Jacqueline Wilson gave lawyers representing the group and division deadlines for filing evidence and submissions in the judicial review case.
Wilson is expected to set a date for the trial of the case when it comes up for hearing next on July 15.
The foreigners—seven women and one man—were refused entry at the Piarco International Airport on March 21 after arriving aboard a La Venezolana charter flight from Caracas.
They were being temporarily detained at a hotel at the expense of Nav Tours Limited, which chartered the flight, as another flight was not immediately available to facilitate their deportation.
The group’s lawyers filed a series of habeas corpus writs challenging their detention but eventually withdrew them after the division agreed to grant them conditional release pending the determination of the case.
The main ground of their case is that immigration officers did not inform them of their right to appeal the decision to bar them entry into the country when it was made.
All eight claimants were present in court for the brief hearing.
The group was also represented by Wayne Sturge, Mario Merritt, Lemuel Murphy, Hasine Sheik, Alexia Romero, Delicia Helwig-Robertson, Shivani Ramkissoon and Kirby Joseph.
Reporter: Derek Achong