(CMR) The Grand Court has granted Doctors Express leave to seek judicial review of decisions made by the Director of Public Prosecution not to bring criminal proceedings against former Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee in relation to an unlawful search of its facility in 2019.
According to court documents, Cayman Islands Urgent Care Ltd, trading as Doctors Express, along with Kaiser Day Cannaceuticals Ltd and Kaiser Day Pharmaceuticals Ltd, want a judicial review of certain decisions made by the DPP.
These include the decision not to institute criminal proceedings against the former Chief Medical Officer of the Cayman Islands, Dr. John Lee, for perjury, attempting to pervert the course of justice, misfeasance in public office, or other offenses. They also want a review of the decision not to institute criminal proceedings against Customs Officer Holly Schneider for perjury, attempting to pervert the course of justice, misfeasance in public office, or other offenses.
They have also questioned the DPP'S decision not to institute proceedings against certain other individuals and the DPP'S refusal to give reasons for his decisions in the three matters.
Court documents reveal that orders are sought to quash the decisions made by the DPP and criminal charges brought against Dr. Lee, CO Schneider, and other parties as a result of what are alleged to be unlawful actions in relation to the facts giving rise to the 2019 proceedings.
Two declarations are also sought to declare that the failure to give reasons for the decisions not to bring criminal proceedings was unlawful and rendered the decisions void and that the Attorney General’s Chambers is conflicted in acting for the Director in this matter.
According to court documents, on 17 September 2019, a search warrant was executed by Customs and Police Officers at the premises of Doctors Express days after a text message was circulated to Digicel telephone users advertising the availability of vaporizable medical cannabinoids at Doctor's Express.
The search warrant had been obtained from a Justice of the Peace on the application of CO Schneider. The purpose of the search warrant was to search for and seize vaporized cannabinoid products. Doctors Express had previously obtained the necessary licenses and permissions to allow them to import, hold and prescribe these products.
About forty-five minutes after the search began, Doctors Express was served with a Cease and Desist Notice issued by Dr. Lee. The Notice required that health practitioners cease the provision of vaporizing cannabinoid products. It had been issued on the 14th or 15th of September 2019 but had not been immediately sent to the Applicants.
Following the search, Doctors Express brought the matter to court, where the judge in the proceedings concluded that the Cease Notice and the search were unlawful. The Court found that the Cease Notice had not been issued because of the serious health risks of vaporizable cannabinoid products and that the search warrant had been sought and obtained for an improper purpose. The judge found inconsistencies in the evidence of the witnesses, Dr. Lee and CO Schneider.
On 9 April 2021, after the conclusion of the 2019 proceedings, Doctors Express and Kaiser Day complained to the Anti-Corruption Commission about possible criminal conduct by some persons in relation to the search.
The Commission conducted an investigation and submitted a file to the Office of the Director. On the 28th February 2022, they were advised by the Commission that following a review of the evidence, the Office of the Director had recommended that no charges be brought against any person in respect of the complaint made. Following this, an application for judicial review was filed.
Dr. Lee left the Cayman Islands last year when his contract expired.