Judge traverses murder trial ‘reluctantly’

first_imgJustice Birnie Stephenson Brooks (file photo). High Court Judge, Justice Birnie Stephenson Brooks, has traversed a murder trial to the September 2012 Criminal Assizes “reluctantly” after a request by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.Clement Labassiere has been charged with the murder of seventy-four (74) year old Ambrose Leblanc of Vieille Case in 2011, and his trial was scheduled to commence today, July 23rd, 2012.However, state attorney in the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office, Clement Joseph, requested that the trial be traversed “due to the unavailability of key witnesses who have abandoned their post”.He did not divulge the name of the witnesses, but he did indicate that among them was a police photographer.Justice Brooks noted her concern that some police officers have failed to attend court sittings throughout the May 2012 Criminal Assizes which will officially close on Friday, 27th July.“I am concerned that they are not available, I have an issue with this. It is one thing for civilians to be unavailable, but when we have assizes, this court expects that police officers engaged in the assizes; save and except that they are lying in a hospital here or abroad, to be present”.She noted that the court has received excuses from police officer who went “on Trade Winds, they went on cruise, they went on leave, they went on training, they had the day off” and this level of disrespect for the court cannot continue.“The next time we have a matter and a police officer is not here I will dismiss the matter,” she said in a forceful manner.“We have persons who are charged with serious offences; this man is charged with one of the most serious offences apart from treason. We are all geared up, the jury pool is here and we cannot continue. Justice must not only be done but it must be manifestly seen to be done and if I discharge this man, justice will not be done. I cannot accept that a police officer who is still serving is absent; he knows that he has matters coming up in the assizes; he should not go on leave”.She suggested that the officer responsible for approving vacation leave in the police force should ascertain whether that officer will be needed to testify during the assizes before approving leave for him or her.“I could have gone to Jamaica for a meeting this morning, but I have the assizes. I could have gone on vacation last Wednesday, but I have the assizes, you [Clement Joseph] could have gone on vacation but you have the assizes; when a person’s liberty is at stake,” she continued.Justice Brooks traversed the matter to the September 2012 criminal assizes “reluctantly” and ordered that this will be the final time that it is traversed.Just last week Monday, July 16th, 2012 four other matters were traversed to the September 2012 Assizes as a result of the illness of attorney at law Zena Moore Dyer.Dominica Vibes News Share 48 Views   4 comments Share Tweetcenter_img LocalNews Judge traverses murder trial ‘reluctantly’ by: – July 23, 2012 Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img