Judge grants leave for judicial review …”LET’S SEE THAT SEARCH WARRANT”

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Former journalist Anika Gumbs was granted leave by the High Court on Tuesday to challenge a police search of her St Joseph home last July.

Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh granted leave to the former Express journalist, to pursue her case against the Commissioner of Police.

In her lawsuit, Gumbs complains of the failure by the police to provide her and her attorneys with a copy of the search warrant used to enter her La Baja Heights, Maracas St Joseph home, on July 17.

She also complained that the seizure of her mobile phone and laptop deprived her of the use of her personal property. The items were returned to her two weeks after the search, but she said her laptop is no longer functional.

In granting leave to pursue judicial review, Boodoosingh also ordered that the Attorney General be joined as a defendant in the case.

Gumbs said her rights had been contravened. She is seeking several declarations from the court, and an order compelling the police to provide a copy of the warrant as well as compensation.

Gumbs said at the time of the search she was assisting police with an investigation into potential witness-tampering allegations against former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. She said the police seemed to be interested in her interviews with Police Complaints Authority (PCA) director David West.

Her lawsuit added that she had confidential information from various sources and despite correspondence to the CoP’s office, she is unaware whether a search warrant existed or was lawfully authorised by a judicial officer.

She said she was told by the police who did the search that they had come to seize all her recording devices because she was attempting the pervert the course of justice.

Gumbs said that she, as an investigative journalist, she had confidential information on her laptop and mobile phone and is unable to say how much information the police removed from them. Her lawsuit added that journalist-source privilege ought to be protected and it was imperative that she and her lawyers be allowed to obtain a copy of the search warrant used by the police.

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ANIKA GUMBS

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