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Bahamas: Supreme Court grants Kenyan man $640,000 for near seven-year detention

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Supreme Court Justice Indra Charles has awarded Kenyan Douglas Ngumi $641,950 in damages after he was unlawfully detained for more than six years at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre (CRDC).

It represents the largest award of its kind for the country, and takes into account Ngumi contracting two diseases, and “numerous” beatings by immigration officials during his detention for six years, four months and six days.

However, the total sum is less than one percent of his $11 million claim.

In her judgement delivered last Friday, Supreme Court Justice Indra Charles said the evidence and testimony of Ngumi was credible and for the most part unchallenged by the defendants: the Attorney General Carl Bethel, Brent Symonette in his capacity as former Minister of Immigration, William Pratt in his capacity as former Director of Immigration, and Peter Joseph as Officer in Charge of the CRDC.

Justice Charles said while immigration officers had reasonable suspicion to arrest Ngumi without a warrant on January 12 2011, he was not charged within the statutory period of 48 hours or 2 days.

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