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Kimathi will not have to pay costs

The Supreme Court has decided against issuing a costs order in the wake of a failed legal action over Ayo Kimathi's placement on the stop list.

Mr Kimathi was placed on the list after delivering a speech in which he attacked homosexuals, interracial relationships and those of European descent.

Both the controversial speaker and the man who organised the presentation, David Tucker, had called on the court to rule that his placement on the list was an attack on his freedom of expression.

However, in a judgment late last month, the Supreme Court upheld the Minister of Home Affair's decision, finding his presentation to be hate speech and that the Minister had acted in the public interest.

The court also upheld the decision of the Human Rights Commission to investigate complaints regarding the incident, but not the executive director's decision to refer Mr Tucker's matter to a tribunal.

While legal costs typically follow the judgment, Eugene Johnston of J2 Chambers argued that Mr Tucker and Mr Kimathi should not be forced to pay the Government's legal bill as the matter was chiefly a constitutional argument.

In a decision released on May 2, Chief Justice Ian Kawaley ruled that costs should not be ordered against the applicants, noting that both are private citizens and that they had not acted unreasonably in bringing the proceedings to the court.

“The application has helped to develop entirely new Bermudian law in a field of public importance,” Mr Justice Kawaley wrote.

The Chief Justice also noted that the non-constitutional elements of the case were of “limited significance” in terms of legal costs, as was the partial success of Mr Tucker's application.

Ayo Kimathi

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Published May 10, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 10, 2017 at 7:57 am)

Kimathi will not have to pay costs

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