Attorneys representing Dominican businessman Dowlin Alexander has filed a lawsuit against Antigua and Barbuda’s Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin and Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney.
Alexander who was detained in Antigua and Barbuda last week Friday is represented by Wendel Robinson in St Johns Antigua.
They are seeking damages for false imprisonment, to also include wrongful arrest and breach of the rights to freedom of movement.
Robinson has since filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus and a constitutional motion on Saturday.
He insisted that his client was not served by the police which amounts to arbitrary arrest and a breach of his freedom of movement
In his sworn affidavit, Alexander said he arrived at V.C Bird on a LIAT flight at 6p.m and after he cleared immigration and proceeded towards the Customs Department to collect his luggage, a “fat man dressed in plain clothes” took him back to the immigration department where he overheard something about a Red Notice
A Red Notice alert was been in place for the arrest of Alexander, which was filed by the French government in May this year.
He later found out that the man was a police officer dressed in plain clothes.
Alexander said he was then transported by police officers to the Criminal Investigations Department in St Johns where they held him in custody.
“All I was told by Sergeant Chapman at CID is that I am wanted by overseas law enforcement for Drug Trafficking. Nothing else was said to me nor was I given any documents; except for a list of items taken from me and being held by the police in CID along with my Dominican Passport…” he said
Alexander said he slept at the St Johns Police station in the cells overnight in the most horrific conditions
“There are no blankets, no pillows, and no mattress available to sleep on, except for empty benches. I hardly got any sleep. Human feces are all over the floor in the bathroom and there is no running water. The toilets are not even flushing,” he said in the statement
He said he was given absolutely no reason why he was being detained and was never shown any Red Notice of any other document.
“No warrant for my arrest was issued to me by the police officer. My human rights are being infringed upon,” he explained
Alexander said furthermore that he was offered nothing to eat by the officers on duty and even when food was brought by his friends in Antigua it was impossible to eat under these conditions
“I cannot eat in the cells because of the stench from the faeces in the nearby bathroom. No hand sanitizers are available and no mask is given to me to block out the scent. It is the worse experience I ever endured. I have never been convicted of any offense in Antigua and as recently as a few weeks I was in Antigua,” he said
The well-known businessman said that based on the sequence of events, he believes that his constitutional rights were breached.
“Furthermore, my rights as a native of an island within the OECS being born in Dominica was further infringed under the relevant regional tactics which govern members of the OECS regarding freedom of movement,” Alexander wrote
Meanwhile, where the issuance of the Red Notice alert is concerned, Robinson said it only serves as an alert and is not an automatic arrest
Robinson said if the French government wants Alexander arrested there must be a process that needs to be followed.