POS magistrates' court blocks media

Port of Spain Magistrates' Court

Photo: Sureash Cholai
Port of Spain Magistrates' Court Photo: Sureash Cholai

As part of the Judiciary’s covid19 policy, the media will not be allowed in the Port of Spain magistrates’ court.

On Wednesday, staff outside the court said they were not allowing the media in the building.

To gain access, after answering the screening questions, you have to state the nature of your visit and the name of the case you were there for.

The Judiciary’s covid19 policy took effect last week and includes restricting the number of people accessing the buildings.

However, at the Hall of Justice there has been no restriction on the media. On Tuesday, the media was allowed for the sitting of an injunction hearing, while on Wednesday reporters were allowed to enter the building after passing through the screening process.

Questions were sent to the Judiciary’s court protocol and information unit on the media restriction to the magistrates’ court, but there was no response.

Prosecutors at the magistrates’ court said they were accepting charge cases “as normal.”

As part of the practice directions issued by Chief Justice Ivor Archie on Tuesday, all matters in the magistrates’ courts, unless deemed urgent, have been adjourned for one month. These include traffic matters, and the payment of traffic fines.

Those who are already on bail, whose matters have not been deemed fit for hearing, have also had their cases adjourned for one month.

In a release on Wednesday, the Judiciary provided adjourned dates for those who have matters in court that, unless they are contacted by the court, or have domestic violence, maintenance, custody or proceeds of crime cases.

Cases with original court dates in March and April have been adjourned to various dates in April and May, reflecting a one-month adjustment to adjourned dates in keeping with the Judiciary's covid19 policy.

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