Chinese National Approved to Challenge Revocation of Citizenship
Lihua Tian’s lawsuit against government will proceed as she has been granted permission to challenge the revocation of her citizenship and Antigua & Barbuda passport.
The High Court judge dealing with the matter has also put halt to the probe by a Committee of Inquiry investigating Lihua’s application and the approval process.
Justice Pearletta Lanns noted, “The grant of leave shall operate as a stay of proceedings of the Committee of Inquiry pending the determination of the claim for judicial review, which claim is to be considered with all convenient speed.”
Speaking to the three-member committee, the judge declared, “The Respondents be, and they are hereby prohibited jointly and severally from performing their functions as a Committee of Inquiry established under Section 10 of the Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship Act, pending the final determination of the Claim for judicial review, or until further order.”
The claimant, who allegedly invested over US$ 200,000 to get the Antigua & Barbuda passport under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), is suing the government for depriving her of citizenship after alleging she willfully concealed material facts in support of her application.
She is also challenging the placement of a CIP agent on a Committee of Inquiry set up to look into how she obtained citizenship.
In the document filed in the High Court on September 6, the woman’s lawyer Dr David Dorsett contended that his client “disclosed all relevant information relating to her status to the agents who were processing her application.”
As a result, Dr Dorsett wants the court to intervene, since it is alleged the agent from Henley & Partners who handled the application has refused to be subjected to cross-examination and the Committee of Inquiry has failed to issue a summons.
The lawyer said “the agent is a material witness and it is our argument that the committee is unable to perform its function if a material witness is not available for cross examination.”
That agent is said to have given Lihua the option to proceed with her application in the face of a wanted bulletin for her being posted by Interpol and in China. According to court documents filed, Lihua learned that a wanted bulletin had been issued for her on Interpol and in China just days after she submitted her CIP application.
She alleges that she informed the agent of the bulletin and was advised she could still take the “risk” and proceed with her application.