Foreign Minister David urges Grenadians to dismiss petty political difference and vote for the CCJ

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David has called on Grenadians to put aside their petty political differences and vote in favour of a referendum to be held Tuesday that will allow the island to replace the London-based Privy Council as its final court.

Foreign Minister Peter David

The referendum is schedule for November 6, the same day when Antigua and Barbuda, another Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country stages its own referendum on whether to replace the Privy Council with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Speaking at the annual convention of the ruling New National Party (NNP) on Sunday, David, who is the party’s Assistant General Secretary said, “I want to speak to everybody out there, who loves Grenada, who loves this country let us for once put Grenada first”.

David, the Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George, said there should be support for the CCJ that was established by CARICOM leaders in 2001 as the region’s final court and which also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

“If you believe in the CCJ, if you NDC (National Democratic Congress), NNP, PLP (People’s Labour Party), what-ever you are, let us vote CCJ”, he said.

“I heard the leaders of the trade unions say they support the CCJ, I have heard the church leaders say they support the CCJ, I have heard the leader of the NNP say he supports CCJ, I have never heard so many sectors of our country say they support something”, he added.

David went on: “It’s the one time when I see that leaders have unanimity on an issue, everybody says they support it, well if you do support it then vote for it because you cannot allow petty differences to stop us. I am speaking to my friends who are not here, you cannot allow partisan tribalism as you had allowed in 1983 to separate us.

“If we support it, we support it. If the leaders of the trade union movement say they support it, then vote for it on November 6. The workers who follow them must do what they say and support it, if the leaders of the NDC say they support it, then members of the NDC should vote for it, if the leader of the NNP says he supports it and the party supports it, then the party members must support it, the point I am making is this, we have to come together,” said David.

“Let us disagree on other issues, let us disagree about other kinds of things, there is enough to disagree on, but let us agree on what we agree on. If not now, then when? If is over 100 years we fighting for independence, we have the chance now so let us do it,” David told the NNP convention.

The President of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUCP), Andre Lewis has given only conditional support to the CCJ issue and suggested that the bill should be amended to provide for disputes over electoral matters to be adjudicated upon by the CCJ and not stop at the level of the OECS Court of Appeal.

NNP members were in session last Sunday at the annual convention held in the city

Congress has also urged its supporters to vote “No” on Tuesday as the bill should be recalled and take into consideration the views of many other stakeholders in the society.
David said that when Grenada got its independence in 1974 from Britain, London gave the island a court that citizens had no say in deciding upon.

“Did any of you vote for this two-thirds majority? We just got it because the British give it to us. We have a chance now to assert our independence, we have a chance to agree on something. I urge all of you to go out and get your people to vote, mobilise, take your car and seek them out to vote for CCJ,” he recommended.

“It is a chance for us to say to the world that Grenada can unite on something, it is a chance for us to say to the world that we are one on an issue. It is chance for us to present to the world that we are a proud people, an independent people,” said the foreign minister.

“I don’t want to bow my head in shame when I am asked what Grenada do when asked about our independence and bringing our court system into our jurisdiction and I have to say we voted against it.

“I don’t want to be going into the corridors of power throughout the world as the foreign minister and having to explain, well you know sir everybody agreed with it but because we belong to different tribes they voted against it,” said David, adding “we are one tribe, we are Grenada, I say this to my NDC brethren, to my church breth-ren, to my labour brethren, we are one, let us agree and vote for the CCJ”.

NNP Political leader and Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell told his supporters that they should see a yes vote as an investment for future generations.
“Give this exercise support, see this vote as one for our children and grandchildren future, don’t just vote but encourage others to vote,” he said.

Two years ago, Grenadians voted 12,434 to 9,492 against the 2016 Constitution of Grenada (Caribbean Court of Justice and other justice-related matters) Bill in a November 2016 referendum.

The CCJ Bill was one of seven which the electorate voted on separately in 2016. A two-thirds majority was needed for the amendments to pass, but all seven Bills were rejected by voters.

Another Trini interfering in our coming to terms with our revolution

So, we have yet another Trini interfering in our private matter of coming to terms with our revolution.

On October 19, 2018, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Grenada is reported thus: He challenged those who experienced the revolution to “bring back the memories of those glorious days when all of us as young men and women said forward ever, backward never.”

He said this at Fort George during a service held by communist supporters of Maurice Bishop. No doubt they chose him to officiate because they knew of his leftist leanings. Did they also know that religion was not tolerated by Bishop’s government?

As if we didn’t have enough Trinis interfering during the revo itself.

What does this man know about what went on during what he calls “those glorious days”?

Does he know about the ghastly tortures that were practiced upon Grenadians? About the labour camp for Rastafarians at Hope Vale?

Surely, he must know that over 2,000 Grenadians were imprisoned without trial until the Americans let them out?

Does he call himself a Christian? Is he aware that the Marxist ideology of the PRG is atheist?

Let us deal with our own matters without foreign interference.

Fitzroy Louison

Four new faces in the legal profession

The legal profession in Grenada continues to grow but seems to be continually dominated by women as three females and one male were called to the Bar on Tuesday.

Newly enrolled attorneys-at-law – Zuriel Francique, Caryn Adams, Crystal Braveboy-Chetram and Arya Redhead – are ready to put their feet firmly on the ground in the profession

In a special sitting held last week at St. George’s No.1 High Court on St. John’s Street, graduates of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Arya Redhead, Crystal Braveboy-Chetram, Caryn Adams and Zuriel Francique were admitted as lawyers to ply their trade in the local courts.

Dominican-born high court Judge, Madam Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts, who presided over the ceremony delivered some words of advice to the new attorneys in which she urged them to include honesty in their practice of the law.

She said, “I am very much impressed with your academic achievements, your performance at the Bar will be equal to your academic achievements. Integrity is a personal characteristic – your moral compass should guide you.

“On a daily basis people will try to change who you are, do not sell your integrity. Be honest with your clients, encourage your clients to be honest, uphold the dignity”, she admonished them.

The four new additions to the profession are all 2016 graduates of the UWI Cave Hill Campus.

The new entrants all vowed to “…truly and honestly conduct” themselves “in the practice of law as an Attorney-at-Law” according to the best of their “knowledge, skills and ability”.

Attorney-at-law Arya Redhead whose mother is a qualified barrister will be based at the Ministry of Legal Affairs with specific focus on Legislative drafting.

Crystal Braveboy-Chetram plans to concentrate on Civil Law at the law firm of Braveboy & Co, while Caryn Adams will be attached with Duncan Phillip & Associates and plans to focus on all aspects of the law except Criminal Law.

Attorney Zuriel Francique, is said to be a nephew of Celia Clyne, QC and will be based at her law firm of George E.D. Clyne Edwards doing general law practice.

Francique vowed before the court that he will be an upstanding officer of the court.

“I stand here with a sense of gratitude and humility as I express thanks…for accepting my application to be admitted to the bar this morning. By the very nature of this noble profession, I am duty bound to tender my undertaking to the court”, he said.

“I took an oath and I accept the responsibility. I tender my undertaking to advise you of this honourable legal fraternity to adhere to the provision of the legal profession, to be a practitioner within the profession…to be an upstanding officer of this court,” he added.

In the case of Adams, she underscored her love for law which started at the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC).

She said, “As a young child, I knew I had a passion for people. At the end of my period at secondary school, I became aware of an opportunity to do a course called law at the T.A. Marryshow Community College and that is when I decided that I should undertake this course and maybe see if that is where my passion was headed to.

“During my two-year period at the T.A. Marryshow Community College, I realised that the area of law was something that I was really passionate about. It was never an easy journey for me, it was always challenging. I was not the quickest learner but I knew that the area of law was something that I wanted to stick to”, she added.

According to Braveboy-Chetram, she is not taking lightly the duty she has been called to perform in the legal profession.

“This occasion holds great significance for me as I reflect on the countless challenges, fears…that it took for me to arrive at this point in life’s journey. Today, I also reflect on the great responsibility that I have now voluntarily embraced by becoming a member of the legal profession.

“I do not take lightly the duty that I now bear by virtue of the legal profession act and code of office, nor do I take lightly the ideals and standards of this profession. I do therefore; undertake to discharge my duties as an Attorney of Law, an officer of the court with integrity, professionalism, veracity, honesty and propriety.

Redhead stated that when she first started off her studies that Law was nowhere on her mind but a compelling conversation by her mother who is also an attorney-at-law and a cousin of hers led her to studying law and she has not regretted making that decision.

Two non-Caribbean nationals serving on CCJ bench

Two non-Caribbean nationals are among the six judges serving on the Bench of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), following the retirement of St. Kitts national, Sir Michael Dennis Byron as CCJ President in July.

They are Justices Jacob Wit from The Netherlands and David Hayton from the United Kingdom, both of whom specialise in particular areas of Law.

According to the CCJ website, the non-Caribbean nationals are two of the longest serving judges on the CCJ Bench, having been with the court since June 2005, approximately two months after its inauguration in April that year.

The other justices include – CCJ President, Vincentian Adrian Saunders, who has also been with the court since 2005, along with Justice Winston Charles Anderson from Jamaica (2010 – present), Madame Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee from Trinidad & Tobago (2014 – present) and Justice Denys Arthur Barrow from Belize (2017 – present).

A document handed out to individuals attending the CCJ Advisory Committee organised educational forums, outlines “some facts on acceding to the CCJ as the final court of appeal,” one of those being touted is that it would be “an opportunity to build up mature Caribbean Jurisprudence-judges from the region would be more acquainted with our cultural and sociological norms.”

However, the CCJ advocates, touting Caribbean Jurisprudence, have failed to inform and explain at these education forums, the appointment or the logic behind the appointments of the non-Caribbean nationals who are judges on the CCJ.

In response to questions posed by THE NEW TODAY in an exclusive interview, Acting Attorney General Sir Lawrence Joseph noted that the two foreign judges are specialising in specific areas of law.

He said Justice Wit, who is the lone Civil Law Judge on the CCJ Bench “specialises in matters, which originate from a Civil Code as Suriname has.”

According to Sir Lawrence, in Grenada, like other CARICOM countries within the OECS, “our law generally stems from the British law called Common Law but Suriname on the other hand, their law stems from Holland and they use a different system of law called the Civil Code.

“So, this Justice Wit is from Holland, he knows how to determine matters which arise out of the Civil Code because Suriname has the Civil Code as their system of law, so that’s the reason why they have Justice Wit there, to deal with specific matters coming from Suriname, because Suriname is part of the court (CCJ),” said Sir Lawrence.

On the other hand, Justice David Hayton specialises in an area of law called “the law of trusts,” which according to Sir Lawrence “is an area of law usually arising in the Caribbean area.

“So, because of that they have identified him as being a good person to have on the court,” he said.

“So, it’s a good mix that they have there,” he added.

The Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC) appoints judges to sit on the CCJ.

The eleven-member Commission is headed by a Court President who serves as Chairman of the Commission. The other members of the commission are appointed by regional legal, educational and public sector institutions.

The President of the Court is appointed by participating Caribbean States on the Commission’s recommendation and may only be removed on the Commission’s recommendation.

Judges may only be removed from office by a tribunal’s recommendation.

According to the CCJ website, Article 1X states, that the President of the Court holds office “for a non-renewable term of 7 years or until he attains the age of seventy-two years.”

A judge of the court “shall hold office until he attains the age of seventy-two years”.

The CCJ is the judicial institution of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Established in 2001, it is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The CCJ sits at 134 Henry Street in Port of Spain.

In July, 2014, Dominica’s Parliament approved a bill to make the CCJ the final court of appeal and Dominica acceded to the CCJ in the appellate jurisdiction on March 6, 2015.

Following a failed attempt in the November 2016 referendum poll, the Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s is making yet another attempt to secure a yes vote for the CCJ, amidst calls in many circles for a postponement due to flaws cited by varying legal minds.

The island’s second referendum poll will be held Tuesday (November 6).

PM Mitchell responds to concerns over the ‘rush to CCJ’

It’s a mere four days away from the November 6 referendum that will determine whether Grenada accedes or rejects the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final appellate court instead of the British-based Privy Council.

And there are still concerns among sections of the population that the process is being rushed and more important things are being pushed to the side by those who are advancing the “Yes Vote” for the Trinidad-based CCJ.

However, Prime Minister Mitchell believes that this concern should not be a deterrent from moving to the CCJ as he focused on the issue at last week’s post-Cabinet press briefing at the ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens in Tanteen.

The Grenadian leader was specifically asked if he believes there should be a hold off on the CCJ to allow other problems cited in the legal system to be looked at.

He said: “You could wait until you die to take a decision that you have to take, there would always be a reason why you shouldn’t do it today. If I don’t want to do something, I can always find a reason.

“Since 1984…the government then had a commission set up to look at moving to the CCJ to look at the court system. The report was handed in, we spent millions of dollars I believe over the years on such reports but every time we move, you not ready yet, not enough time, you’re rushing.

“We did it the last time, we went even to the referendum, people vote no, they didn’t just say just the fact that it’s not enough time but they voted no on the basis that they must not support it.

According to PM Mitchell some persons are only opposed to the CCJ issue on political grounds because it was taking place under his watch as leader of the country.

He said: “For some people as long as Keith Mitchell is in office, they would not support anything that government has any part of. This issue is not about the government. If it fails or passes, Keith Mitchell loses nothing as a person in material things but I believe the country loses and I would lose from the standpoint what I believe is necessary for the country’s future and I have a responsibility as a citizen who happens also to be Prime Minister to speak my mind and to support also the things that I believe is necessary but it has no political gain for the government.

“If anything, getting involved in it cannot be any big plus in my view politically but some people see it as long as Keith Mitchell is there, I will not support it because Keith Mitchell will look good – this has nothing to do with me” he added.

Prime Minister Mitchel told reporters that the same argument is being used in Antigua by opponents of Prime Minister Gaston Browne who also set November 6 as Referendum Day on the CCJ.

“The opposition in Antigua is saying yes we support the CCJ but fix this first, fix that first. In fact, the Prime Minister said to me one of his opponents said to him, ‘we support … but you owe some money from pension of workers, pay that first before you go to the court’.

“Gimme a break… I don’t believe that those persons are serious about the reason why they do not want it because it’s nothing to do with that in my view.

Both Grenada and Antigua need two-thirds of the voters in the referendum casting ballots in favour of the CCJ in order to make the necessary constitutional changes to do away with the Privy Council.

House gutted in St. Patrick

A house in the La Fortune/Madeys area of St. Patrick was completely gutted by fire on Wednesday morning.

The remains of the house that was gutted by fire

THE NEW TODAY understands that the house was owned by Vincent Lynch, described as a 35 year old construction worker and his wife Sheena Lynch, who is said to be a Journalist by profession.

A source close to the Fire Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) said that the fire was apparently caused by an over-heating transformer in the house.

He disclosed that no one was at home at the time of the fire.

An angry resident of St. Patrick expressed disgust with the authorities over the destruction of the house by fire given the lack of a proper fire tender in the area.

He said: “…It bleeds my heart this morning as a house goes up in smoke a stone throw away from the Madeys/La Fortune so-called fire station. The family lost all in the house at a time when we are spending so much on CCJ and we have a toy fire truck servicing the whole North of the island”.

“The fire truck that was removed from the Sauteurs branch to Gouyave – it had to travel all the way from there to up here to attend to the fire so you can guess the outcome. Lord help us all”, he added.

The island has been affected by a series of fires in recent months with several of them being caused by electrical issues.

Speculation is rife that many houses in Grenada are plagued by faulting wiring and an under-staffed Inspectorate Department in the Ministry of Public Utilities with staffers lacking proper equipment to do the required inspection of many homes and commercial businesses.

Prisoners get early release

Two St. Paul’s residents have been released from jail after serving nearly five calendar years (approximately eight prison years) of respective 10 and 12-year sentences at the Richmond Hill Prison for rape and Indecent Assault.

Kenston Grimes – was released from jail after serving close to eight prison years of a 12-year sentence

25-year-old Kenston Grimes and Todd Sylvester, 24, were convicted on two counts of Rape and one count of Indecent Assault, following incidents that reportedly occurred in September 2011 at Berrotte in St. David.

The sentences were handed down by a High Court judge in December 2013, at the end of their trial, which lasted for approximately three months.

Grimes and Sylvester who were both represented by Attorney-at Law Anselm Clouden appealed their sentences in April 2014 and it took approximately four years and six months for their transcripts to be ready.

The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, which sat in Grenada during the week of October 15-19 ruled in favour of the two accused.

Clouden agreed to withdraw his appeal against their convictions as part of a brokered deal with State Prosecutors when the case came up before the Justices of Appeal on October 19.

Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Howard Pinnock, agreed to a proposal in which time served was considered as being an appropriate sentence in the matter.

Attorney Clouden was appealing among other things against his clients conviction, a delay in prosecuting the appeal and the admission of inadmissible evidence.

The Court of Appeal judges allowed time serve as time spent and discharged them considering the lengthy delay to have their appeals heard.

THE NEW TODAY caught up with Kenston Grimes and Todd Sylvester as they exited the court room, which was set up in a section of the Parliament Building at Mt. Wheldale, St. George.

An elated Sylvester only said “I just want to go,” and walked away leaving behind Grimes, who spared a minute to share his story.
Grimes, who said his release from prison comes three days before his 25th birthday, considered his freedom as an early birthday present.

Speaking exclusively with THE NEW TODAY, Grimes said: “I am so happy I just want to go check my kids…First I am going and check my kids and after that I am going to try to find a job.”
He added that being in prison has taught him a lot and he plans “to use this knowledge to help others.”

Ego trip with CCJ!!!

Arrogance and deceit!!!

These are the two words to describe the fresh attempt by the powers-that-be on the island to get the Grenadian electorate to vote for the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) instead of the London-based Privy Council as the final appellate court for the island.

The deceit was manifested up to Sunday at the annual convention of the ruling New National Party (NNP) when Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David made some of the most misleading statements by a leading political figure for 2018.

Mr. David sought to make us believe that everybody including the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), trade union movement and the churches were fully on board with the CCJ.

The NDC has been making it quite clear in the last two to three weeks that the electorate should vote “No” for the CCJ as it outlined the reasons for adopting such a position including flaws in the CCJ bill as passed by both Houses of Parliament.

Senator Andre Lewis has repeatedly stated the position of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC) on the CCJ and called for a specific inclusion in the Bill – the inclusion of a section for the CCJ to be allowed to determine matters arising from a General election instead of only the OECS Court of Appeal.

THE NEW TODAY is advancing the notion that Sen. Lewis was representing the views of thousands of workers in the country including those belonging to the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Public Workers Union (PWU), Commercial & Industrial Workers Union (CIWU), Bank & General Workers Union (BGWU) and the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) among others.

It was quite deceitful of Minister David to use the NNP platform which was open to the wide world through Social Media to misrepresent the views of the Labour unions and others on the CCJ issue.

This newspaper is not aware of any position put out by the Conference of Churches of Grenada (CCG) to urge church members to vote for CCJ.

Perhaps, Mr. David might have been referring to those churches that are getting subsidies from government to carry out their activities including duty-free concessions for some church leaders in exchange for the CCJ vote.

The Roman Catholic Church is the most dominant of the religious groups in the country and is not known to have put out any statement to urge its followers to vote either for or against the CCJ on Referendum Day.

Is Peter David really singing for “his supper” with the hope of one day pleasing his “master” sufficiently that he will eventually hand over the Prime Ministership of the country to him?

The arrogance of the powers-that-be can be gleaned from the manner in which it is refusing to sit down with persons and groups expressing concerns with the current CCJ Bill and engaging in fruitful and meaningful debate on the issue.

The posturing of the committee that is led by Acting Attorney-General Dr. Lawrence Joseph and includes the likes of Dr. Francis Alexis and Ruggles Ferguson is nothing but “take it” or leave it as nothing is wrong with the bill in its present form.

The deceit can also be seen through the position being advanced by the “Vote Yes” platform that matters will be heard more speedily and cheaper for Grenadians by the CCJ as opposed to the Privy Council.

The untruthfulness of this line was seen at the most recent sitting of the Court of Appeal when the Justices were forced to release from prison a number of persons with appeal matters pending, back into the society on bail due to the extremely long delays in getting transcripts in some cases outstanding by up to four years from the high court.

If these matters cannot be heard in reasonable time by the Court of Appeal when will the affected parties hope to get justice before the CCJ?

The Executive branch of the government must first address this serious impediment to justice before coming to the people to vote for the CCJ under the guise that justice will now be more speedily done under the CCJ as opposed to sticking to the Privy Council.

THE NEW TODAY wishes to remind all concerned that the Referendum should not be seen as anything close to what transpired in the March 13 general election when the NNP for the second consecutive time ended up with a clean sweep of all 15 seats at the polls.

Former Finance Minister, Nazim Burke who led NDC into the disastrous elections has removed himself from the political scene and will not be an issue on Referendum Day.

The reality of the situation is that one of the factors that affected Congress’ chances at the poll was that many persons in the country preferred to remain with Dr. Mitchell as “the Chief” for the time being and did not want to replace him with Burke.

The NDC should be telling the powers-that-be that in light of the two post-election reports from the Observer Missions of both the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that conditional support to the CCJ will only be given as part of the wider agenda for Electoral Reform as suggested by these two groupings of which Grenada is a member.

It is quite obvious that the powers-that-be are pumping millions into the “Vote Yes” campaign in order to effect Constitutional changes.

The NNP leaders are banking heavily on winning the vote on Tuesday largely on the grounds that the NDC is very much divided and in a sorry state of disarray to galvanise its supporters to heed the call and reject the CCJ Bill on Tuesday.

Is the CCJ more important for PM Mitchell than addressing the current state of Grenada – the emerging lawless society, a terrible health situation in the country with the two X-ray machines at Princess Alice hospital in Mirabeau and the General Hospital not working, the judicial system in disarray, construction workers in the dream project – Silver Sands being laid off and rotated and now on the breadline?

THE NEW TODAY is fearful that the only reason why the Prime Minister is continuing to push the CCJ is for his legacy and to massage his huge ego after winning three elections 15-0 against his political opponents.

EC$100, 000 bail for suspects on gun and drug charges

The Mont Toute woman and Woburn man, who were on October 16 remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison on six indictable gun and drug-related charges, have each been granted bail in the sum of $100, 000.00.

Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill decided to grant bail but with special conditions set for 32-year-old cook, Angela Pierre and Ken Stanisclaus, a 39-year-old Mason, when they appeared for a second time before the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court on October 19, after spending approximately six days on remand at the Richmond Hill Prison.

The suspects found themselves in trouble with the law after a search of the house they occupied and its surroundings turned up 5.25 kilograms of cocaine and 13.28 ounces of “cripa or creepy” – a powerful strain of marijuana grown from plants native to Europe and the United States.

The lawmen also recovered 1 Israeli BUL – M5 9mm Pistol, 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition and 10 rounds of .38 Hollow Point Ammunition.

The cocaine carries an estimated street value of just over EC$500, 000.00.

The two suspects were apprehended in Woburn on October 10, and formally arrested and charged the following day (October 11), with 1 count of Possession of a Controlled Drug, 2 counts of Possession of Ammunition, 2 counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Drug, 1 count of Possession of Firearm.

On the occasion of their first court appearance before the Chief Magistrate on October 12, the Police Prosecution led by Corporal 147 Kerry Swan, objected to bail, informing the court that the lawmen were fearful that if bailed, the suspects can possibly compromise the ongoing investigation by easily disposing of the .38 firearm, which is still at large.

However, Attorney-at-Law Derick Sylvester, who is handling their defense, argued that “this is not a valid reason to deny bail.”

The criminal attorney reminded the court that his clients are innocent until proven guilty, and also expressed the view that the Prosecution’s request is an “affront” to keep his clients in police custody.

After approaching the Bench for a short while, the court took a decision to remand the two suspects to the Richmond Hill Prison until their next court appearance.
On this occasion, the Police Prosecution maintained its position and Attorney Sylvester did the same, reminding the court of his client’s Constitutional right to bail and presumption of innocence.

Having heard both sides, the court took a decision to grant bail with 2 sureties to the suspects, following Sylvester’s successful mitigation on their behalf.

Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that at the time of her arrest, the female suspect, who is pregnant was paying a visit to the co-accused Stanisclaus, who is her male friend.
Both Pierre and Stanislaus were ordered by the court to report to the South St. George Police Station twice weekly, as well as surrender all travel documents and to request permission from the court to leave the state.

The two are due back in court on December 10.

Randy John Charged For Teen Murder

Less than 24 hours after the body of 16-year old Queenette Johnson was discovered underneath an unoccupied dwelling house at Charlotte Vale in St. David, police were able to apprehend 20-year old Randy John for the murder.

20-year old Randy John – could face life imprisonment if convicted of murder

The Construction Worker of Epping Forest, St. David appeared before the St. David Magistrate Court on Monday and has been remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison on an indictable Capital Murder charge.

A maintenance worker was the one who discovered the body of Johnson who lived at Belle Vue, St. David when he went to the house to do some debushing during the early morning hours of the Thanksgiving holiday last week Thursday.

Police investigators suspect that the teenager, who is a drop-out from St. Joseph’s Convent, St. George’s died from suffocation sometime between the days of October 19 and 20.

An autopsy conducted Sunday on the remains of the deceased revealed she died as a result of asphyxiation.

John has reportedly “confessed” in a statement solicited by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) that he knew about the death.

Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY that officers attached to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Force were able to get an early lead into the killing from a neighbour in the area.

A source who spoke on condition that he was not identified said that “the informant” told the police that a bus had dropped off two persons in close proximity to the house at night and the lawmen were able to get in touch with the driver of the vehicle.

According to the source, the driver indicated that he was hired by the suspect to drop he and a female companion in the area.“The (suspect) said that the girl was his girlfriend and they went below the house to have sex and while down dey they had a quarrel and a scuffle. He said that she got unconscious and he left to go and get some water to see if he could revive her”, said the source.

John allegedly panicked and fled the crime scene.

Disorientated by the turn of events, family members of both the deceased and the murder accused flocked the court compound as John made his first appearance before Magistrate Karen Noel at the St. David’s Magistrate’s Court.

Queenette Johnson – her partially decomposed body was discovered under a dwelling house at Charlotte Vale

He remained calm and composed as the charge was read out to him by the Magistrate who remanded him to the Richmond Hill Prison until November 19 for Mention and then back to court on November 23, when the witnesses in the case are expected to be present in court.

John faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment if convicted of Johnson’s murder.

The Social Media networks were alive with comments about the character of the deceased teenager with most of them painting a disturbing picture about her.

The grieving mother spoke briefly with THE NEW TODAY on Monday and brushed aside the attempt to paint her daughter as a bad little girl.

“I know people are saying a lot of things but don’t believe them, believe me…my daughter was a very, very nice person,” she said, before stepping into a waiting vehicle packed with relatives who just wanted to leave the court compound immediately after the hearing.

Despite her grief, the mother of the deceased expressed gratitude to the police for their swift apprehension of the suspect in her daughter’s death.

“It is not a nice thing to have to bury my daughter who died in this manner,” she said.

The mother of the murder accused, who is also saddened by the turn of events, told the media that she tried reaching out to the mother of the deceased on Monday to extend her sympathies for the tragedy.

However, the grieving mother of the deceased, who was at the time surrounded by family members told her to wait but never got back in touch with her.