CASE TO BE HEARD ON ITS MERITS
The judicial review proceedings before the Supreme Court of Seychelles in the matter of Seychelles People’s Defence Forces v The Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission continued today. Justice Dodin dismissed the Commission’s preliminary objections. It is noteworthy that Justice Dodin dismissed the argument that the Commission and the Supreme Court are parallel bodies. Justice Dodin said as quoted: “The powers of the Supreme Court are significantly wider than those of the Commission. The Commission is not granted the wide and overall judicial power as the “Supreme” Court. Therefore, the Commission cannot be considered as a body parallel to the Supreme Court.” The lawyer representing SPDF will file written submissions on the merits of the case next week. SPDF will argue, amongst other things, that:
1. the disappearance of Private Alberto Antat and Private Rodney Payet does not constitute an “enforced disappearance of persons” as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and as such, the complaint will be manifestly outside of the Commission’s mandate;
2. the disappearances happened in 2018 and there is no logical connection between the coup d’état and the disappearances;
3. the Commissioners took irrelevant considerations into account when they decided that “the Commission is satisfied that it could examine the complaint on the basis that Presidential power remains with the party that originally came to power with the Coup D’état.”
SPDF will argue that this ulterior political object of the Commission runs contrary to the Commission’s function under section 3(8) of the TRNUC Act to carry out its functions in an impartial manner. The Supreme Court had set 11th August 2020 at 09:00hrs for case management.