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Monday 23 October 2017
Crime and Court

Magistrate apologises to witnesses for Prosecution Unpreparedness

Acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle apologised to three state witnesses for delays in their testimonies for the trial of murder-accused, Stefon Pierre. Earle-Caddle made the apologies today for the absence of five statements from state attorney Nadine Matura-Singh in the matter.

Martura-Singh said that while the prosecution had twenty seven statements prepared to tender as evidence, there were still five statements outstanding and explained that the investigating officer encountered great difficulty in locating the witnesses to give their statements. However, Earle-Caddle would not accept that excuse and said that both the prosecution and the complainant should be better prepared when coming to court.

"This person has been in custody since May 2016, why don't you have their statements as a part of your file? You knew that the matter was fixed to be heard for today and you knew that you were not in possession of these five statements, so why did you not apply for a court summons to these individuals?"

Matura-Singh explained that up until this morning searches were carried out for the missing statements but were unable to locate them.

Pierre's attorney Brent Winter argued that there were numerous flaws with the recording of statements and other documents from the investigating officer citing poor penmanship in addition to prosecution's failure to produce statements.

"Your worship the interview notes recorded by the complainant from the accused are totally illegible and now we are hearing that there are five additional statements that are oustanding, I don't know how long this is expected to go on for."

Earle-Caddle agreed with Winter, saying that she had set aside today to hear the matter but would have to be delay the matter until September when prosecution would have their statements and witnesses prepared for cross-examination. She also issued a stern reminder to the complainant that the collection of statements was his responsibility.

"Let me make it abundantly clear to you, that if you do not have the statements by the next court date you are to request a summons for the officers involved to come to court. You are the lead investigator and this is your case, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary statements."

Earle-Caddle apologised on behalf of the prosecution to the three witnesses in the matter. The matter has been adjourned to September 19.

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