British expert says preliminary inquiries should end in Eastern Caribbean

first_img Share Tweet Sharing is caring! NewsRegional British expert says preliminary inquiries should end in Eastern Caribbean by: – September 17, 2011 Sharecenter_img Map of the Eastern Caribbean. Photo credit: caribbean-on-line.comKINGSTOWN, St Vincent — A British legal expert helping with the revamping of the criminal justice system in the Eastern Caribbean believes that preliminary inquiries should be abolished.A preliminary inquiry determines if the state has enough evidence to justify a trial. It is intended to safeguard against putting people in jeopardy of being convicted in a trial without the state having sufficient evidence to prove the case.If, after hearing the evidence, the magistrate is satisfied that there is enough evidence that the person could be convicted, then the person is committed to trial at a higher court.Witnesses often testify twice: during the preliminary inquiry and also at the trial.“Why call witnesses twice? We can call witnesses just once at the trial and then their evidence can be tested,” criminal justice advisor to the Eastern Caribbean in the British High Commission Daniel Suter said, referring to preliminary inquiries.On Wednesday, Suter discussed on local radio the Prosecutors’ Code recently launched in St Vincent and the Grenadines.Suter spoke of the deficiencies in the local court system, saying that delays, often caused by procedures and the manner in which matters are investigated, were one of the main concerns.“What I am looking at is to make investigators work more closely with prosecutors at an early stage. … What I can see as a good way ahead is abolishing preliminary inquiries. I don’t think that they are systems that allow for justice in as much,” Suter said.He added that preliminary inquiries also delay trials and accused persons should be tried “at the earliest stage” since this relates to human rights.“It is [also] not fair for witnesses and victims that matters are prolonged for that period of time,” he said.Suter emphasised the role of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in determining who is prosecuted.He objected to the police performing the role of arresting, interviewing, investigating, charging and then prosecuting an individual, as is generally the case in the magistrate’s courts.“My personal view is that that’s unconstitutional and that it should be the DPP who determines the matters that are prosecuted both in the Magistrate’s Court and also the High Court.”He said that with the implementation of a national prosecution service, police prosecutors, would become part of the DPP’s office.In this way, the DPP would be fulfilling his constitutional role of managing prosecutors going through the Magistrate’s Court and “maintaining that objectivity and independence,” Suter said.He said that police prosecutors who do not become members of the national prosecution service could return to investigating or study law.Suter also addressed the issue of prosecutors passing the “evidential stage” and the “public interest test” before going to trial.“Within the code for St Vincent, it says that there must be a reasonable prospect for conviction. So, if all the points to prove for an offence are made out and the prosecutor decides ‘Yes I believe I can get a conviction on the basis of the evidence that is produced to me by the police,’ the evidential stage is passed.”He, however, cautioned that it should not always be the case that even if there is sufficient evidence that a person should be prosecuted.Prosecutors, Suter said, should consider, on a case-by-case basis, the potential long-term negative impact of prosecution on a person’s life.He said if a prosecutor, after such considerations, decides not to move forward with the case, the crime would still be recorded and prosecutors might not be as lenient with repeat offenders.The Prosecutors’ Code speaks to this in that it sets out the parameters in which a prosecutor decides whether to prosecute.“… [T]he public needs to know … what are the rules of engagement that the prosecutor makes the decision by and the public interest test can be one that can cause a lot of debate. And therefore the code sets out a number of examples where the public interest stage can be considered,” Suter explained.“It is a debated point but there is something there to secure justice and the reason for the code is to ensure there is transparency, objectivity in relation to any decision being made, because, of course, they can be critical decisions,” he explained.Suter also suggested that police interrogators tape or video record their interview of suspects, saying that this could help to protect the credibility of the police.He further noted that the changes being proposed to the Eastern Caribbean court system are not “UK-centric”. The UK, he said, can learn much from other systems around the world.by Kenton X. ChanceCaribbean News Now contributor Share 37 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Report: Pork Production Could Surpass Beef

first_imgGREENSBURG, Ind. – A new Hoosier Ag Today report shows nationwide pork production is up despite some farms recovering from the PED virus.Numbers show pork is on pace to pass beef production for the first time since 1952.USDA projected 2015 pork output at 23.9 billion pounds opposed to projected beef production of 23.8 billion pounds.High-priced hogs and low-lost feed will help hogs become readily available as farms unaffected by PED grow their herds, Reuters reports.The virus was responsible for killing an estimated eight million piglets.last_img

Universal’s new ‘Harry Potter’ ride attracts 10-hour wait

first_img“Due to anticipated excitement by our guests, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure may experience high demand,” the theme park wrote on its website.The attraction opened on Tuesday to hundreds of ‘invitation only’ guests who took part in an event inside Islands of Adventure, complete with members of the motion picture cast, to welcome the theme park’s newest attraction.The ride includes Hogwarts’ gamekeeper Hagrid as guests guide as they are put on motorbikes and sent through twists and turns while being surrounded by towering trees and creatures.It is unclear when the wait time for the ride will decrease. As Dumbledore once said ‘dark and difficult times lie ahead,’ specifically, for fans of the beloved Harry Potter series who want to partake in Universal’s newest wizard-themed ride, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.As of Thursday, an estimated 600-minute, 10-hour wait time is listed for the ride with some Universal goers taking to Twitter to describe their not so magical experience on the ride’s opening day.It’s 5:40 and I have made it to the Islands of Adventure entrance on opening day of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. As long as there aren’t technical difficulties, I’ll definitely get a ride in before the storms hit today pic.twitter.com/XabVB3xb5x— Jonathan Cooper (@dxwwf3) June 13, 2019last_img read more

Sabahn Quaye: ‘Any idiot’ can coach Hearts of Oak

first_imgBlack Stars team manager and currently the operations manager of Hearts of Oak,Sabahn Quaye believes ‘any idiot’ can coach the Ghanaian giants because the structures in the club are already set up for success.The Phobians are struggling to name a permanent coach to replaceMohammed Polo which has left them without a trainer since the start of their pre-season training.Talks with ex-Dwarfs coach Prof Mintah to take over the side fell through while Herbert Addo is refusing to accept the offer tabled by the Accra-based giants.Despite the absence of coaches since the start of the pre-season last week, Quaye says the team is working well because the structures for success are already up and running at the club.“Excuse my language, any idiot can coach Hearts of Oak, provided the system is working well with discipline in the team,” Quaye told Kumasi-based Metro FM.“If God says it is Herbert Addo, who should take over as coach of Hearts of Oak, so be it and if he says no, so be it. “All the technical team members from Steve Bugri to me are experienced and if it is Herbert Addo who would be appointed as coach, he is also experienced.“The head coach, although not named officially, has been working hand in hand with Steve Bugri, the assistant coach and is expected to join us next week.”Hearts are secretly embarking on a massive recruitment drive to augment the squad to the challenges ahead.last_img read more