Award-winning farmer Renardis Donovan, who is charged with cultivation of 226 marijuana plants, was this week turned away from the Magistrate’s Court pending a report to verify if the plants are in fact marijuana.
The trial was scheduled to start this week, but Donovan was told to return next April when the report is expected to be ready.
The adjournment did not sit well with his attorney Jamal Smith, who argued that his client has been attending court for months and – on each appearance – the prosecution was unprepared.
“I have to express strong objection to yet another adjournment awaiting the analyst’s report,” Smith declared.
He noted that his client attended court in February, May, July, September, and December of this year only to be met with the same explanation from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The prosecution however explained to the court that the situation is out of its hands.
The court was told that the British Virgin Islands utilizes the service of a drug analyst, who is only called into the Territory when there is a specific amount of drugs available for testing.
The prosecution further explained that the plants Donovan is accused of cultivating are in the current batch of substances that has not yet reached the stipulated quota for analysis.
While noting the prosecution’s explanation, Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo said justice must be balanced with the ‘exigencies’ of the territory.
“We cannot have a defendant waiting forever, but I do believe that there will not be any prejudices to this defendant (Donovan) if there is another adjournment to get a report from the analyst,” she further said.
Donovan was told to return to court on April 24.
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