Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 4th 2013 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, October 4, 2013
Legislation must be put in place to grant bail to
people accused of murder.
And files pertaining to murder investigations should
bypass the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)
after the accused is committed to stand trial in the
Making the recommendation was head of the
Criminal Bar Association Pamela Elder, SC, while
speaking at Tuesday s conference on the death penalty
at the law faculty, University of the West Indies, St
Elder said the consideration to grant bail should
be done in circumstances where the trial of the
accused was dragged on for a lengthy period of time.
"Once it is acknowledged that lengthy pre-trial
incarceration is inhumane then it should immediately
cease," Elder urged.
She added it took between three to four years for
the DPP to file an indictment against a murder
"The client languishes in prison waiting for the
DPP to file an indictment. A magistrate already has
decided that there is sufficient evidence to commit
the accused for trial.
Once the matter reaches the High Court,
a judge would be assigned and preliminary
issues could be addressed," Elder said.
An indictment is a written accusation
charging that an individual named has com-
mitted an act or omitted to do something
that is punishable by law.
Regarding identification parades, Elder
recommended those be video recorded in
the interest of the accused and also cut down
on trial time.
She added: "At present the defence is only
provided with the ID (identification) parade
form which invariably does not contain the
full addresses of the persons who formed
"The defence is thus handicapped and
cannot locate these persons to ascertain
whether they indeed fitted the description
of the accused."
She said confessions of accused people
should also be video taped so as to reduce
the time spent on a voir dire (trial within
a trial) and also as a means to challenge the
"voluntariness" of a statement.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is expected
to deliver a landmark judgment today in a case of
a Jamaican woman who claimed she was discrim-
inated against and mistreated by Barbados immi-
The judgment is scheduled to be handed down at
the CCJ s Henry Street, Port-of-Spain, headquarters
at 10 am and will be broadcast to courtrooms in
Jamaica and Barbados, via video conferencing.
The case against the Barbados Government, brought
by 25-year-old Shanique Myrie, deals with the free
movement of Caricom nationals through member
states. Jamaica is listed as an interested party in the
The CCJ temporarily shifted its operations to
Jamaica and Barbados for a few days earlier this year
to accommodate witnesses who could not afford to
travel to Trinidad to attend hearings.
The CCJ has been to asked to decide whether Bar-
bados breached the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas
and a decision from a Caricom Heads of Government
meeting in 2007, by refusing Myrie entry.
In her lawsuit, Myrie is alleging when she travelled
to Barbados on March 14, 2011, her passport was
stamped and she was granted entry for a month.
Two hours later, she was subjected to a body-
cavity search by a female immigration officer, then
detained overnight in a cell and deported to Jamaica
the day after.
She claims she was subjected to discriminatory,
cruel, inhumane, insulting or demeaning treatment
during her overnight detention.
She alleged the treatment was contrary to the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, the Charter of Civil Society and other inter-
national accords and agreements. Myrie is seeking
US$500,000 in compensation.
The Barbados Government denied the allegations.
At the last hearing of the case in April, attorney
Roger Forde, QC, representing Barbados appealed to
the court to consider the inconsistencies in Myrie s
testimony when it was making findings of facts in
Forde submitted that the CCJ should not consider
the human rights issues raised in her lawsuit, as such
provisions were not part of the Revised Treaty of
Chaguaramas, which the regional court was mandated
CCJ rules today on
Elder: Grant bail to murder accused
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