Chris Must List wants to go home

Canadian YouTuber Christopher
Canadian YouTuber Christopher "Chris Must List" Hughes. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE CANADIAN YouTuber accused of sedition, Christopher Arthur Hughes, who posts under the account "Chris Must List," intends to return home to Canada on June 14.

For him to do so, his attorneys will be seeking to have his passport, which remained with the Registrar of the Supreme Court, returned to him.

His sedition case before acting Chief Magistrate Christine Charles will come up for a case-management hearing on August 23.

Hughes made his first appearance before the acting chief magistrate on June 13.

On June 6, Master Margaret Sookraj-Goswami transferred the matter to the Port of Spain District Court after the State elected to conduct the matter summarily (a summary trial at the district court).

Hughes had agreed to the recommendation and the master permitted him to leave the country until the June 13 hearing, while also removing the condition of weekly reporting to a police station which was attached to his $100,000 bail.

He was also ordered to relodge his passport with the registrar when he returned for his court appearance before the acting Chief Magistrate.

However, at the time, Hughes said he intended to remain in the country and continue filming Trinidad and Tobago’s culture while he was still here.

At his last hearing, Hughes, 45, also pleaded not guilty to the charge of publishing a seditious publication (an audiovisual video) on the social media platform YouTube on May 9.

He is represented by senior attorneys Pamela Elder, SC, Anand Ramlogan, SC, and Russell Warner.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Danielle Thompson is representing the State.

At June 13’s hearing, Elder said in response to an enquiry from Thompson that his passport was never removed from the High Court registry .

Hughes said he was “looking for permission to travel home on Friday,” and was advised to leave it to his attorneys to make the necessary arrangements.

His attorneys were also advised to have the registrar correct the master’s order, which did not reflect the removal of the reporting condition.

Elder also asked if Hughes’ electronic equipment, such as his cameras and iPhone,could be returned to him.

“I am instructed that the cameras do not carry internal memory.”

She said the police could keep the memory cards and return the cameras.

At the virtual hearing, a timetable was set for filing sworn statements. Thompson said she expects to complete full disclosure once the Office of the DPP receives the full file from the police.

She also said it was likely that the prosecution’s case would proceed by written statements and she did not anticipate the trial would take long.

Disclosure of the prosecution’s evidence would have to be done by July 22, after which the defence will file its evidential objects, notice of legal submissions and defence statement by August 19.

A trial date is likely to be set at Hughes's next court appearance.

On June 3, Ramlogan raised the issue of challenging the constitutionality of the sedition charge. He said the summary of evidence to support the charge set out no alleged intent to incite violence, though the Privy Council’s ruling said a true interpretation of the sedition laws was a requirement that there must be an intention to incite violence or disorder.

Global Affairs Canada said it was aware of the reports of a detained Canadian and was providing consular assistance.

The investigation began after Hughes posted videos from Trinidad and Tobago to his YouTube page, where he has 326,000 subscribers.

The police said in a statement that the videos featured "individuals professing to be gang members, advocating criminal activities, and using threatening language."

Hughes has developed an online persona as a globetrotting content creator. His YouTube videos allegedly show him visiting the "most dangerous" areas in several countries he has visited.

Some of his videos from Trinidad appear to show him speaking with men with high-powered weapons complaining about their treatment at the hands of the government.

The sedition charge against Hughes carries a fine of $3,000 or two years in prison on summary conviction.

Hughes posted on Instagram on June 13, saying it appeared he was “stuck” in Trinidad until his next court appearance in August.


"Chris Must List wants to go home"

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