A TEMPORARY gag has been put on media reporting of the Sean Luke trial.
On Wednesday, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds stopped the media from reporting any part of the evidence of Avinash Baboolal.
Baboolal, the 16th witness on the fifth day of the trial, began his testimony on Wednesday and was being cross-examined by one of the defence attorneys when the day’s proceedings ended.
He will return at the next sitting on Friday.
Afterwards, Ramsumair-Hinds said in balancing her responsibilities in relation to the fairness of the proceedings, she was of the view that a temporary restriction on the reporting of the trial was necessary at this time.
“The media are temporarily restricted from reporting on any testimony of Avinash Baboolal,” she ordered, saying it will be lifted “as soon as I think appropriate, by an order of the court.”
She only allowed the media to publish the witness's name.
A written order was expected to be delivered to all media houses on Wednesday evening.
Baboolal’s name has featured heavily in the cross-examination of previous witnesses at the trial by lawyers for Akeel Mitchell and Richard Chatoo, who are charged with Luke’s murder on a date unknown between March 25 and 29, 2006.
Baboolal was then 17.
Luke’s body was found on March 28, in a bushy area in the cane field close to his home. An autopsy revealed that he died from internal injuries from being sodomised with a cane stalk.
Mitchell and Chatoo have opted for a judge-only trial and are appearing from separate locations at the Maximum Security prison. Early in Wednesday’s sitting, the judge said the separate rooms were to allow the two to be comfortably distanced and so that they will not have the wear masks.
Mitchell and Chatoo are represented by attorneys Mario Merritt, Evans Welch, Kirby Joseph, Randall Raphael, Kelston Pope and Gabriel Hernandez.
Prosecuting are state attorneys Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal, Anju Bhola and Sophia Sandy-Smith.