by JP Schwmon #SituationUpdates
St. Lucia’s Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions S. Stephen Brette has finally closed his side of the trial against both Karim Nelson, an Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions here, and Deputy House Speaker Senator Ashelle Morgan.
But before he told the Mesopotamia Magistrate’s Court: “in light of the circumstances, having been denied the opportunity to call Vernon Adams, the prosecution is constrained to close its case at this time” Deputy DPP Brette made another attempt to bolster the prosecution’s case against the duo.
Instead of posing any reexamination of ballistics expert Station Sergeant Julian Cain, Brette informed the Court of plans to “call one more witness, Sir… Vernon Adams.”
Unsurprisingly, or so it seemed since Brette was part way into his application for a summons before the officer could indicate whether or not the witness was present, Adams did not appear.
He told the Court of efforts which were made early on Wednesday morning to contact this final witness.
“My instructions are that this witness was called via telephone he was not able to be contacted and the officers went by his home this morning but he was not present so at this time we are asking for a summons,” Brette intoned.
Magistrate Bertie Pompey invited responses from the defense team.
Morgan’s lawyer, Duane Daniel, yielded the floor to Nelson’s even as he explained his reason for doing so.
“Your Honor, I rather Mr. Marks speak because I might – the police and them might have to arrest me,” Daniel quipped.
“This is an extremely frustrating exercise. We were allotted three days –“ Ronald Marks began before Magistrate Pompey interjected:
“This is the 6th day we’re having it.”
Marks echoed Magistrate Pompey’s “humanitarian plea that we deal with this matter expeditiously.
“Your Honor since April they’ve had the statement; to go this morning and try to get a witness for this morning is ridiculous your Honor and I’m trying deal with this with a calm and not show my frustration.
“The Magistrate’s Court, your Court your Honor, has come to a standstill… the Director of Public Prosecutions Office is without their Acting DPP. The Parliament is without a Deputy Speaker and Senator.
“Your Honor the prosecution has been given ample time to get their house in order and we object to any further delay on the part of the prosecution.
“We brought our clients here. It’s for them to prove their case and to do so in a timely manner and not delay justice and thereby deny it.
“In these circumstances your Honor, although my tone is in a calm manner it does not truly express how much we vehemently oppose any sort of further delay in this matter.
“Your Honor this Court has been very accommodating to the prosecution, very accommodating. We visited a scene that really was of no benefit – from our point of view – of no benefit at all to the defense and in our view dealt a damning blow to the prosecution’s case.
“The point is your Honor, you have been more than generous in this matter it’s time now, we submit, that the Court put its foot down and demand that the prosecution get on with the work …”
Pompey, a former Deputy Commissioner of Police, signaled his agreement with the sentiments expressed by the Defense. He reminded Deputy DPP Brette that “the matter was put off on several occasions.”
The prosecutor attempted to interject Pompey’s address, which apparently provoked a ruling on his application for a summons.
“I’m going to deny that request,” Pompey rejoined.
“You’re going to deny it?” Deputy DPP Brette asked.
“Yes”, Magistrate Pompey responded.
Brette formally requested the Magistrate’s reason for denying his request. Magistrate Pompey reiterated that the prosecution had “ample time” so that they should not have waited until the trial’s 6th day to make such an application.
“You don’t even have a reason why he is not here. You just have he is not here. You call him and he’s not here,” the Magistrate expressed.
Vernon Adams was reported, in local media, as being the third person who was supposedly at the scene when Cornelius John was shot at his home.
John’s lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, made the revelation earlier this year. She detailed then that Adams was Nelson’s cousin and driver.