Teacher deported to wrong country - claim
A Serbian teacher who launched a legal battle against Government after being dismissed from a public school has been deported back to her home country.
Dragana Damljanovic was flown off the Island on February 8, after serving less than two months of a 90-day prison sentence imposed in December after she failed to pay rent to a private landlady.
A source claimed: “She was initially deported to the wrong country, despite telling the Bermudian immigration officer that they were deporting her to the incorrect country.
“She was escorted with two Bermudian officials the immigration officer and a prison doctor and was first flown to Kosovo, where Kosovo immigration sent them back to London.
“The following day the three travelled on to her correct home country, Serbia.”
Ms Damljanovic was jailed at the Co-Ed Facility at Ferry Reach for 90 days on December 10 after a Magistrates' Court hearing on the rent issue, at which she represented herself.
Charity campaigner Sheelagh Cooper told this newspaper Ms Damljanovic felt her imprisonment was wrong. She received an e-mail from the teacher, which said: “I did nothing illegal and I breached no law.”
Ms Damljanovic applied for a writ of habeas corpus on February 3, according to the Supreme Court's register of writs. Such a writ, if granted, enables a prisoner to be released from unlawful detention.
The source said it was believed the social studies teacher was deported “urgently and secretly” five days later.
A Ministry of National Security spokeswoman said yesterday: “Ms Damljanovic was properly deported from Bermuda.
“The conditions under which she was deported were directly referable to her mental and medical state; as such, in fairness to her, the Ministry will not comment on these matters.”
Ms Damljanovic came to Bermuda in February 2009 to work at Sandys Secondary Middle School and was later dismissed.
She challenged the decision and won a Supreme Court order plus costs in her favour, before filing further lawsuits against the Ministry of Education.
Ms Damljanovic was imprisoned for a day-and-a-half in September after Government issued an unlawful deportation order that was later quashed by a judge.
She told Ms Cooper she was then ordered by the Department of Immigration to leave Bermuda by December 12 but refused because of a fresh legal bid. It was not possible to reach Ms Damljanovic yesterday.
lUseful website: www.immigration.gov.bm, www.moed.bm, www.serbia.travel