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More fireworks at drug trial – THIS IS MY COURT!

The Magistrate's Court, John's Hole, Tortola

The Magistrate’s Court, John’s Hole, Tortola

The trial involving four men accused of cocaine possession has reached a virtual standstill as a result of defence attorney Marlon Gordon and Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards being at loggerheads.

Gordon, who this week accused the senior magistrate of bias, took matters further yesterday by asking the magistrate to recuse herself from the major trial.

Gordon is representing three of the accused men – David Straker, Donald George, and Lindon Chiverton. Attorney-at-law Patrick Thompson is representing the fourth accused – Anderson Flax.

“We get the impression that the court has not given equal opportunity for me to represent my clients,” Gordon said while claiming that the senior magistrate had threatened him.

He told the senior magistrate: “…Recuse yourself from this matter because you have threatened me. You said, ‘I am on thin ice.”

Senior Magistrate Richards then ordered Gordon to state the basis in law as to why she should recuse herself from the proceeding.

The defence attorney is scheduled to return to court this morning to deliver legal arguments in an attempt to back up his request for the magistrate’s recusal.

‘RUDE’

Gordon, who practices law mainly abroad, made the request for the recusal after Senior Magistrate Richards admonished him for being ‘rude’.

She also accused the defence attorney of addressing her with what she said was disrespectful, non-verbal behaviour.

The senior magistrate claimed that Gordon spoke over her while she was speaking, pointed at her, leaned over the Bar table in a hostile manner, ‘punged’ on the said Bar table in a suggestively hostile manner, and stood with his eyes affixed to the ceiling while she addressed him.

She told Gordon that is not the way lawyers behave in court in the British Virgin Islands.

She went on to assert: “When I am in my courtroom, I am in charge… When I speak, you’re supposed to stop.”

The senior magistrate further stated: “It is wrong for Counsel to accuse the court of being biased because that is not what judges do.”

Meanwhile, the four men who are being tried have been accused of possessing some $80 kilograms of cocaine back in 2015. They were held at sea.

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