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We write as pastors to address a blatant attempt to beguile the general public and church members alike that there are many pastors who are in support of legalizing the currently illegal web gambling shops in The Bahamas. Nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to the impression that the "We Care" gambling coalition and Rev. Dr. Philip McPhee are seeking to convey to the general public, the church in The Bahamas is not divided on the issue of legalizing the numbers business, nor does it support the commencement of a national lottery.
After speaking with several of the pastors who attended the meeting organized by McPhee, it is clear that they were unwittingly used to promote the cause of the gambling coalition and McPhee. One pastor stated that they were "bamboozled" and "tricked" by the whole procedure, and regrets that he was used in this way. The meeting was advertised as a face-to-face meeting with web shop owners, where pastors could make the church's position against gambling clear. However, published comments from McPhee concerning the meeting leave members of the public with the impression that these pastors were largely in support. Again, such an impression is false.
Obviously, a campaign has already started to seek to deceive voters into believing that a significant number of pastors either "support'' or are "not against'' the proposition to legalize the selling of numbers, thus weakening voters' resolve to vote against the referendum. Furthermore, it was a wretched attempt to undermine the authority of the president of The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) who was away burying his father and who is on record as saying that the BCC is "diametrically opposed" to gambling. No doubt, the president will be responding on behalf of the BCC in due course.
For the record, we are compelled to state that Rev. Dr. Philip McPhee (whose sailboat Thunderbird is known to be sponsored by the web shop Asue Draw) has compromised his voice on this issue and is not authorized to speak on behalf of the BCC, the Baptist community, and the church in general (and we suspect his views do not even represent the majority his own church members).
If we buy McPhee and the gambling coalition's argument that because they give out a few dollars to help charities and regattas we should legalize the numbers business, then a similarly flawed argument can be used to legalize the illegal drug trade because many drug dealers, like convicted drug smuggler Samuel "Ninety" Knowles, have used and continue to use their ill-gotten gains to assist the poor. Further to this, what does it say about the "law" when owners of these illegal web shops are publicly stating that they use their illegal proceeds to try to buy legitimacy?
We have every confidence that the voters in this country will not be duped by the spurious arguments being put forth by the coalition, and will soundly defeat the gambling proposition because there is no economic, social or moral justification for doing so. Further, we hasten to add that it would be criminal for the Bahamian government and the Bahamian people to exploit the gambling addiction of poor Bahamians by taxing their gambling addiction for the benefit of the government and a handful of already filthy rich illegal gambling operators.
It is clear that, as we approach the referendum on gambling, battle lines are already being drawn with operators of gambling houses using their illicit gambling proceeds to seek to finance a referendum outcome in their favor; this includes attempts to pedal their influence even within the church community. However, while they have money on their side, gained from successive governments (Free National Movement and Progressive Liberal Party) aiding and abetting their exploitation of the poor, the truth about gambling is not on their side; and that truth is that gambling (especially numbers gambling) further impoverishes the already poor and makes no economic sense.
While we speak as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we believe we speak for the majority of Bahamians who on our nation's 39th independence anniversary still believe the words of the preamble to our nation's constitution that affirm that the preservation of our "freedom will be guaranteed by a national commitment to self-discipline, industry, loyalty, unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the rule of law." Gambling is and will always be contrary to these values, and our prayer is that the majority of Bahamians will continue to hold this to be so and will vote "no" to gambling in the upcoming referendum.
- Pastors Lyall Bethel, Allan Lee, Cedric Moss, Dr. Myles Munroe, Mario Moxey, Alfred Stewart
The Office of the Attorney General sought to block the continued operations of web shops despite an order from Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs in January to prevent a shutdown of the businesses, alleges an affidavit filed recently.
The affidavit filed by attorney Claude Hanna of Munroe & Associates said a group of web shop bosses faced significant delays in trying to get business licenses renewed and some owners have still not yet received licenses.
Hanna said the government, through the Business Licence and Evaluation Section of the Ministry of Finance has sought to adversely affect the business of the web shop owners by delaying licenses.
He said this was an attempt to circumvent the conservatory order issued by Justice Isaacs for the businesses to remain in operation pending the outcome of a substantive court challenge.
The owners filed court action after a majority of people who voted in a referendum voted against the regularization and taxation of web shops and the establishment of a national lottery. They contend that their businesses are operating legally.
Justice Isaacs granted the order the morning after Prime Minister Perry Christie ordered an end to web shop gaming.
Hanna said that in the past, the process of issuing licenses involved submitting an application, paying the required fees and the Business Licence Unit would issue the license in a matter of days.
The longest period of delay in the past has been a week, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit said that this year the web shop owners and or their agents were informed by "servants of the Business Licence Unit" that the Office of the Attorney General (the defendant) has advised the Ministry of Finance to put a halt to licenses being issued to web cafes.
According to Hanna, the matter had to be addressed by Chief Finance and Revenue Officer Joseph Mullings, who circulated a minute paper on March 15, 2013 to all staff about the issuance and renewal of business licenses to web shops.
A copy of the minute paper was filed in court.
It said, "Effective immediately, you can issue new and renewal business licenses to web shops. The only license description will be Internet cafe and Internet related services."
According to the affidavit, the process of getting licenses has been "riddled with hurdles".
The affidavit said Pete Deveaux of Percy Web Cafe reported that after submitting the business license application, paying fees in full and satisfying all other requirements, his company was told by Mullings that he could not issue the license because they were awaiting written confirmation from the Office of the Attorney General.
"It was only after insistent calling that [Deveaux] received the business license on March 27," the affidavit said, adding that some of the other plaintiffs also received licenses last week.
"This has represented a delay that in most cases has been at least three to four times the usual delay in the process."
The affidavit said Whatfall and Asue Draw were still awaiting licenses.
It said, "The plaintiffs (web shop owners) have a history of being fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing their businesses."
The affidavit also said that during the general election campaign and during the referendum campaign members of the Free National Movement (FNM) and their bloggers suggested the web shop owners supported only the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
"I am advised by the plaintiffs that it was thereby being suggested that this was done because the PLP had committed to support the plaintiffs," the affidavit said.
"Indeed, much was made during the referendum campaign that the PLP government had a horse in the referendum race."
But the web shop owners have advised that this perception is incorrect, according to the affidavit.
"I am advised that the plaintiffs supported both the PLP and FNM as they always have done," Hanna said.
"If this is disputed they are able to disclose the persons and events together with the amounts that they supported."
The affidavit said the web shop owners met with the government after the general election but are unwilling to disclose the exact contents of these meetings unless it is deemed necessary to do so.
Hanna also said in the affidavit that the need to terminate staff would cause a loss to the plaintiffs "far beyond the financial costs associated with their terminations".
"I am advised by the plaintiffs that they care about the welfare of their employees to the point that they are mentally affected by the prospect of having to terminate persons with whom they have worked closely over the years."
The web shop owners and their attorneys have made an application to have the conservatory order issued by Justice Isaacs extended.
The attorney general is seeking to have that order discharged.
Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett will today hear arguments from both sides.
Wayne Munroe represents Percy Web Cafe, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall and Chances.
Former Attorney General Alfred Sears and Jeff Lloyd represent Paradise Games.
This article was first published on May 27, 2010.
Ingraham seems stuck between two painful alternatives: a) shut down the web cafes and drive numbers underground, which will anger thousands and deny the government an opportunity to gain taxation revenue it desperately needs; b) legalize and regulate numbers, but be condemned in pulpits across the nation. OK, there’s a painless third: Do nothing.
Here’s my take. First, I confess, I find games of chance like Backgammon and cards harmless fun. Numbers, however, is a game of chance where the gambler (despite the promise of wealth dangled before him) will almost always lose his/her money and the house will almost alwa ...
There are at least 251 web shops in operation run by 35 different companies, according to documents obtained by The Nassau Guardian.
The information from the Ministry of Finance details the web shops that were licensed by the government in 2013.
The largest web shop operator is Island Luck, which has 44 licensed locations in New Providence and several Family Island locations, according to the data.
Other large franchises include Paradise Games with 36 locations; Asure Win with 30 locations; Asue Draw 28 locations; WhatFall.com with 22 locations and Chances with 20 locations.
The FML brand of web shops, owned by prominent businessman Craig Flowers, had 10 licensed locations last year, according to the data.
Today marks the first anniversary of the referendum which asked voters if they supported the regulation and taxation of web shops and the creation of a national lottery.
On January 28, 2013 about 45 percent of registered voters turned up at the polls. Results from the Parliamentary Registration Department show that 17,000 more people voted no on the question of web shop gaming than those who voted yes.
The numbers show that 46,961 people voted no to a national lottery and 33,170 voted yes.
Flowers made a bold declaration a week before the vote.
He told The Nassau Guardian that he would close all of his web shops in the country and send staff home with benefits if the referendum failed and the government ordered a shut down of the industry.
He is one of several web shop bosses locked in a court battle with the government over the legality of their operations.
Attorney Wayne Munroe, who represents the businessmen, said there has been no movement in the case since last May when his firm filed a statement of claim.
Munroe believes the case will remain in limbo until Parliament passes the Gaming Bill.
"The next step is for the Office of the Attorney General to file their defense," Munroe said in a recent interview.
"But before that could happen, the government indicated [its] intention to pass a Gaming Bill into law. So it's a consensus that there is no point moving forward with litigation that has to do with the Lotteries and Gaming Act when it's the stated intention of the government to repeal it.
"Right now we're challenging the Lotteries and Gaming Act and asking for it to be interpreted.
"[It's] pointless driving that action forward strongly to litigation if the government says it's going to replace this."
A draft of that Gaming Bill was tabled in the House of Assembly last October and debate was expected to begin a few weeks later.
However, the bill has been shelved and a definitive date for when it will be debated is not known.
Former Senator Philip Galanis, who coordinated the referendum's Vote Yes campaign, also believes the ongoing court action is the reason why the industry is still vibrant.
"Police cannot enforce the law in terms of closing down the web shops and the government has taken no action to move either positively or negatively in this matter," Galanis told The Nassau Guardian.
"I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that this matter is still before the courts."
Still, Galanis believes the Christie administration should take the lead and regulate the sector.
"I believe that the government can however make a preemptive strike and proceed with perhaps making the necessary regulations in order to legitimize this activity. And I think it's the right thing to do because this is part of the underground economy.
"The industry is comprised of young entrepreneurs, with talent, who make a tremendous, positive impact on the gross domestic product.
"They employ nearly 4,000 people. They can also be taxed in a way that is equitable to all so that the government is able to receive some benefit from that activity, and I think that is something that should drive the government to do what is necessary and right in the circumstances."
The day after the referendum, Prime Minister Perry Christie ordered web shops to cease their gaming operations with immediate effect or face prosecution.
However, a handful of web shop operators secured an injunction on January 30, 2013 to prevent the government and police from shutting their businesses down.
Christie recently said that he regrets holding the referendum.
In an exclusive interview with The Nassau Guardian, he said he should have taken the bold step of regulating web shops after coming to office and not put it to a public vote.
His declaration, and the government's inaction over web shops, have angered those who fought against the referendum.
Bahamas Christian Council President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson last week called on the government to be guided by the results of the referendum and shut web shops down.
Whether the government will move to do this or introduce legislation to regulate the sector remains unclear.
Whatever the outcome, it may have little effect on the thousands of patrons who use web shops to gamble in store or online.
The Nassau Guardian spoke with one frequent gambler who said the referendum's results did nothing to deter him from the practice.
"I'm not afraid because if the government wanted to lock you up for [gambling in a] web shop, why do they give people licenses?" asked the 55-year-old maintenance worker, who did not want to be named.
"I'm working, but I need extra money so I play numbers to get a little extra money.
"Fifty cents gives you $200. Some people don't make that in a week. So if I could buy a number for a dollar with a four ball and win $3,000, why not?"
There was a good field of 28 competitors in the most recent Bahamas Bowling Federation's (BBF) Monthly Handicap Tournament, slightly down from the record 31 competitors, in October.
These tournaments are a self help effort by the federation to raise much needed funds, and bowlers are encouraged to participate.
In the first game, Gary Scavella emerged as the winner. Several bowlers scored over 200, but Scavella, aided by his handicap, was declared the winner with an average of 237.9. In the second game, David Slatter, who competes for Phil's Food Services in the City Bowling League and Family Guardian in the Financial Bowling League, bowled a blistering 247 scratch to win. In the third game, Kayla Nixon, who competes for Asue Draw in the City Bowling League, knocked down the pins for a 200-plus scratch game, and aided by her handicap, she blew away the field with a total scratch and handicap of 283.9. Nixon really threw the ball well in that third game, and at one point, had eight strikes in a row.
For the overall set, David Slatter stood tall with a 735 set (scratch) for first place. He was followed by Nixon with an average of 680.7 (scratch and handicap) and Kendyll Knowles finished third with an average of 675.4 (scratch and handicap). Knowles is starting to bowl well in the monthly tournaments.
Congratulations go out to Scavella and Nixon for being first-time winners in this tournament. Other bowlers who fared well but due to handicap constraints did not emerge as winners were: Ricardo Rolle (633 set scratch), Ansel 'Bobby' Ferguson (610 set scratch), Yule Hoyte (605 set scratch), Mario 'Hawk' Brown (604 set scratch) and Derek Burrows (601 set scratch).
Interested bowlers are asked to contact league executive Clayton Gardiner at 328-2427, 636-3673 or at e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other BBF executive - Yule Hoyte, David Slatter, Ken Braithwaite Sr., Tyrone Knowles, Camille Burnside, Joanne Powell, Alfred Burrows or Leon Graham.
The federation would like to thank all of the participants, and looks forward to the next monthly tournament. Also, the federation extends thanks to Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace and Raymond Adderley for preparing the lanes for competition.
It has been nearly a year since the government held the controversial referendum on gambling.
Although voters overwhelmingly rejected both questions on the ballot, little appears to have changed in the day-to-day operations of "illegal" web shops.
The referendum was hard fought by the Vote No campaign, made up mainly of a group of religious leaders who oppose gambling for moral reasons, and the Vote Yes campaign, which was backed by web shop owners.
The church argued that legitimizing web shops would lead to further social decay and the breakdown of the family.
Several web shop bosses, who for years were reluctant to speak publicly about their businesses, came out of the shadows and urged the public to support the referendum.
Days before the vote, more than 1,000 Vote Yes supporters, web shop owners and workers marched in front of
o Remains, page L5
They insisted they were legitimate businessmen who contribute to the economy through employment and charitable donations.
However, their arguments did little to sway the electorate.
On January 28, about 45 percent of registered voters turned up at the polls. Voters were asked if they supported the regulation and taxation of web shops and the creation of a national lottery.
Results from the Parliamentary Registration Department show that 17,000 more people voted no on the question of web shop gaming than those who voted yes.
The numbers show that 46,961 people voted no to a national lottery and 33,170 voted yes.
Before the referendum, Prime Minister Perry Christie repeatedly stressed that his government "had no horse in the race" and pledged to abide by the outcome of the vote.
The referendum was initially scheduled for December 3, 2012 but was pushed back due to criticism that the government was rushing the vote.
The government also needed to delay the vote to pass legislation that would amend the Constitutional Referendum Act, to allow a referendum that would not alter the constitution.
Despite the delay, many felt that the government fell down on the education process, leaving voters with unanswered questions about what would happen if the referendum was successful.
Some detractors also denounced the referendum because the government chose not to include the question of allowing Bahamians to gamble legally in local casinos.
Before the referendum, battle lines were also drawn across the political divide.
The opposition had urged voters to vote no if they were unsure about the questions.
For months, the Free National Movement hammered the government for taking too long to release the referendum questions and not providing the public with enough information to make an informed decision.
Less than a week before the vote, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced that he planned to vote no to both questions and urged voters to do the same.
A day after the vote, Christie released a statement ordering web shops to shut down their gaming operations or face arrest. He also warned patrons of web shops that they could face criminal charges if found gambling.
"In keeping with my government's commitment to abide by the will of the electorate as expressed on Monday's referendum, it has become necessary to effect the closure of all web shop gaming operations in The Bahamas," Christie said.
However, attorney Wayne Munroe quickly launched court action on behalf of Island Game, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, and Chances to block the government from shutting them down.
Attorney Alfred Sears also filed court papers on behalf of Paradise Games.
That court action has not been resolved and web shops remain open and some brands have expanded their businesses this year.
Web shops are being targeted by criminals with increasing frequency, according to police.
While no specific number was available yesterday, over the past several weeks a growing number of web shops have been held up by gunmen.
Asue Draw on Carmichael Road is the most recent to be robbed.
Police said that around 4 p.m. on Sunday two males - one armed with a handgun and the other a shotgun - approached the security officer, took him into the establishment and forced their way into the cashier's cage.
The culprits robbed Asue Draw of an undetermined amount of cash and fled the area in a Honda Inspire, police said.
A short time later, police recovered the vehicle on Jerusalem Road, ...
After police conducted a search of several web shops in the East Bay Street area on Monday, attorney Wayne Munroe, who represents a group of web shop bosses, said yesterday that although his clients were annoyed by the action, it proved that police are not going to interfere with their operations while it is before the court.
"The one thing it does show is that legitimate business is carried on in web shops," he pointed out.
Munroe said while the search may have negatively impacted his clients' business, "it satisfied that you don't have drug dealing or illicit activity happening in these places".
He represents Percy Web Cafe, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall and Chances.
Police shut down two businesses during the search, Double D's Restaurant and Bahama Dreams on Okra Hill, for allegedly operating without a business license.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethell said police are not going to arrest anyone arbitrarily, adding that they are investigating and compiling evidence.
Munroe said, "I think the commissioner and his officers are doing the sensible thing in not usurping the power of the court. I think that's the proper exercise of their function.
"In fact, bearing in mind what has happened I will have to consider whether there is any basis for me to continue with the appeal of the chief justice's refusal to grant an injunction because if the commissioner of police is going to demonstrate that he is not going to, by his action and by his officer's action, usurp the powers of the court I really have nothing to fear about them not abiding the outcome of the litigation."
The Court of Appeal on April 17 rejected a bid by attorney Alfred Sears and Munroe to stay a ruling delivered by Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett.
Sir Michael lifted a conservatory order that prevented web shops from being subjected to police interference.
The lawyers secured the conservatory order on January 30, two days after a gambling referendum failed.
Following the referendum, Prime Minister Perry Christie ordered that all web shop gaming cease.
The substantive case is expected to be heard on May 24.
Twenty-five percent of Island Luck's workforce, particularly on the Family Islands, could be let go as early as next week, CEO of Island Luck Sebas Bastian revealed yesterday.
Island Luck employs more than 500 people, according to Bastian.
As reported by The Nassau Guardian yesterday, layoffs are looming at web shops as business has slowed to a trickle in the months since the failed January 28 gambling referendum.
Many patrons are reportedly staying away for fear they could be caught in a raid.
"You could land a 747 jet inside a web shop right now and no one would get killed. That's just how slow the web shop business is," said Bastian before joining radio talk show host Darold Miller on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM.
"Unfortunately, we may have to lay off [people] if it continues like this, and...we need the government to taken action on this issue.
"Address it and bring it to some closure because with all these high school graduates that are coming out of school come summer, [combined] with the unemployed and now a combination of web shop layoffs, it just seems that we are going nowhere fast.
"And that is just too many people without jobs."
Bastian said on Thursday that sales have been "at an all time low" in the last two months.
The fate of web shops and their staff remains uncertain as a legal challenge remains tied up in the Court of Appeal.
Bastian is just one of several web shop owners fighting to continue normal operations.
The developments came after a majority of people who voted in the referendum said no to the regularization and taxation of web shop gaming and the establishment of a national lottery.
Less than 50 percent of the electorate voted, however.
On Monday, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade warned people who are gambling in these establishments to stop as they could face prosecution.
Asked whether web shop owners were gearing up to take another public stance, Bastian said, "Yes. We have nothing else to lose."
"The gloves are off and we have to do what it takes to make it right on behalf of The Bahamas, not just us," he said.
"It's about time in 2013 that we are not discriminated on in our own country. I mean, what we want is ownership. We want participation and we deserve it.
"We are not asking for anything that is not awarded to every other native in other countries."
Web shops owners pointed out the significant contributions to culture, sports and education during their Vote Yes campaign.
Bastian said yesterday Island Luck continues to donate and provide scholarships on a discretionary basis, but its contributions have slowed down because the company is not in the same financial position.
As fears grow over possible layoffs, web shop operators are outraged that the government has drafted a bill that would allow holders of casino licenses to establish mobile gaming operations.
As revealed by Guardian Business yesterday, mobile gaming is poised to enter the Bahamian market sooner than expected.
According to a release from Cantor Gaming, Atlantis' new casino partner, the technology will be unleashed on Monday.
Bastian said the mega resort is vying to become the new web shop in town.
"If the government is going to do it for Atlantis, do it for Bahamians," he said.
"If they're not going to do it for Atlantis then we can see why they won't do it for Bahamians. All we want is to be treated fairly in our own country. We're not looking for any handouts or favors; we just want what they get."
The substantive case involving Percy Web Cafe, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall, Chances and Paradise Games is expected to be heard on May 24.
Courts in The Bahamas have no authority to block police from taking action if they deem anyone is carrying out an illegal activity, Court of Appeal President Anita Allen said yesterday.
Allen made the statement before the appellate court rejected a bid by two prominent attorneys to stay a recent ruling of Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett as it relates to web shops.
Sir Michael lifted a conservatory order last week that prevented web shops from being subjected to police interference.
Attorneys Alfred Sears and Wayne Munroe were attempting to secure the stay pending the determination of a substantial application before the Court of Appeal to overturn Sir Michael's ruling.
Sears, who represents Paradise Games, said his client fears police will interfere with his business, which could result in bankruptcy if the stay or another conservatory order is not granted.
Attorney Wayne Munroe, who represents Percy Web Cafe, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall and Chances, said his clients fear that politicians will put pressure on the commissioner of police to act.
However, Allen said the conservatory order granted to web shop owners by Senior Justice Jon Isaacs in January was "superfluous".
She said the order can not prevent police from carrying out investigations into whether the web shops or any business is conducting illegal activities, and it can not prevent police from making arrests.
The lawyers secured the conservatory order on January 30, two days after a gambling referendum failed.
The failed referendum was followed by a directive from Prime Minister Perry Christie that all web shop gaming cease.
Both attorneys contended yesterday that their clients are carrying on legal businesses, although Sears said he has never set foot in his client's establishment.
Sears told the court that his client operates an Internet cafe which entitles members unrestricted access to Internet sites.
He also pointed out that according to the law, anyone found on the premises where a lottery is taking place can be arrested.
"This is a matter of extreme concern to my clients and their patrons," he said.
Sears said his client does not determine what sites members access or how long they use the Internet.
He said the cafes are used by a wide range of people, including students who may go in to conduct research.
He added that the danger is if you are on the premises when a police raid takes place and someone is using the Internet for gaming purposes then everyone would get arrested.
When asked by Justice Allen if that was a legitimate fear, Sears said it is, as it happened several years ago.
But Justice Allen said the attorneys were dancing around the issue and not addressing "the elephant in the room", which is the alleged gaming aspect of the web shop operations.
She said the attorneys did not establish their right to injunctive relief.
But Sears said the conservatory order gave his client some level of comfort.
Justice Allen replied that the Court of Appeal is not in the business of providing comfort.
Sears said the conservatory order also gave the public the confidence needed to patronize his client's business.
Without it, he said, patrons may fear that they may get caught up in a raid.
But Justice Stanley John said if patrons are carrying out legal business they should have no fear.
He added that if the police act irresponsibly, then the victim has a right to take action.
Justice Neville Adderley said it seems as if Sears is seeking to protect the rights of the wider public rather than those of his client.
Following the judgment, Munroe told reporters that based on statements in court, he did not consider the ruling a setback.
"There is no substantial grounds to fear, bearing in mind the commissioner of police said quite sensible statements that he will act responsibly," Munroe said.
"...The executive is not seeking to usurp the judicial function, and you would have heard me say that my clients' fear is driven by some politicians' irresponsible statements.
"I think the commissioner of police described them as such as well and described them as mischief."
He added: "If there was some reason to think that the commissioner would run amuck then the results may have been different."
Sears offered similar comments.
"I'm sure that the commissioner will not allow anyone to push him to take any precipitous action," he said.
"I'm happy that the court has heard us and has set an early date for the appeal that will provide us with the opportunity to test the ruling of the chief justice and we will take it from there."
Asked why they did not address the "elephant in the room", Sears said more information will be set out in the statement of claim, which will be filed in court before May 3.
The substantive case is expected to take place on May 24.
Both attorneys contend that Sir Michael made errors in his judgment.
Loren Klein is representing the crown.