THE High Court judge assigned to Marlon King’s retrial for the 2006 murder of his stepdaughter Amy Annamunthodo, is moving forward with the case, but says if he is told to stand down by a superior court, he will do so.
Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas said he was constrained by an order of the Court of Appeal, which in July quashed King’s indictment for murder and ordered a retrial, with the case management to be done expeditiously, since the matter is over a decade old.
At a hearing on Wednesday, the judge was given an update by King’s former lawyer Peter Carter, who said instructions had been given to challenge the Appeal Court's order for a retrial at the Privy Council.
Responding to a request by Mario Merritt, who represents King at the new trial, not to proceed until there was some certainty, the judge asked if he should just sit with his hands under his buttocks and wait on the Privy Council's ruling on King’s application for special leave for the London-based court to hear his challenge.
Earlier, Carter told the judge that King had given written instructions to approach the Privy Council. He said arrangements were being made to file a notice of application for special leave, but he does not know when this will be heard. He also said no application has been sought for a stay of the retrial.
St Clair-Douglas said under the order of the Court of Appeal, he has to proceed with the retrial, but would stand down if ordered to do so.
Merritt asked for a week in order to get instructions from King, and the matter was adjourned to September 29.
King was sentenced to death after being convicted by a jury for Annamunthodo's murder, after six days of directions by then Justice Anthony Carmona.
Annamunthodo, aged four, was burnt with cigarettes, hung from her hair and beaten. She suffered multiple internal injuries including a broken rib and bruised organs.
King was charged on May 15, 2006. He was in a common-law relationship with Annamunthodo’s mother, Anita.
Defence attorney Karunaa Bisramsingh is also representing King at the retrial. Indira Chinebas is prosecuting.