The Appeal Court sat on a public holiday to consider an appeal notice filed by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Roger Gaspard SC to prevent the release of a prisoner charged with murder.
The court on Monday, Emancipation Day, during an urgent hearing, extended a stay of execution order considering the appeal lodged which challenges a judge’s decision to quash the indictment against the prisoner, Kevon Nurse, also called Kevon Benoit.
Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell quashed the indictment on July 5 on the grounds of delay. Nurse has spent two decades in prison for the murder of his uncle Lester Ash on Christmas Day 2000 at Success in Laventille.
Donaldson-Honeywell had granted a 28-day stay on the enforcement of her ruling, allowing the DPP sufficient time to consider an appeal.
The order would have expired on Monday, the same day of the urgent hearing heard before Appeal Court judge Malcolm Holdip.
On Friday, attorneys representing the DPP filed the appeal and requested an expedited hearing and a stay of the judges’ order.
Holdip, on Monday, extended the stay of execution order until the appeal application could be heard.
Holdip ordered that the hearing of the appeal be deemed urgent and expedited.
He further ordered that the time for the appeal application be abridged.
The appeal judge ordered that the record of appeal be filed within seven days.
The case comes up again on August 9.
The prisoner has faced some 25 judges for five trials and status hearings.
Nurse, of Laventille, was expected to face a sixth trial. But, he filed a civil lawsuit against the Office of the DPP over breaches of his constitutional rights caused by the delay in prosecuting him.
Donaldson-Honeywell ruled in the prisoner’s favour saying he would be prejudiced by facing a sixth trial. The judge on July 5 said the failure of the DPP to discontinue the prosecution was unreasonable because of delay, the multiplicity of trials, and failed convictions.
She had also ordered the State to pay for Nurse’s legal cost for the judicial review claim.
Attorneys Mary Davis and Nairob Smart represented the DPP while Shaun Morris represented Nurse before Honeywell-Donaldson.