BVI News

Lawyer accuses magistrate of bias in drug case

Not the cocaine mentioned in the story. File photo

Not the cocaine mentioned in the story. File photo

Defence attorney Marlon Gordon, who is representing three of the four men currently on trial for possession of some 80 kilograms of cocaine, has accused Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards of being biased in the proceedings.

“Ma’am, I don’t feel like I can get a good hearing before you,” Gordon told the senior magistrate in court yesterday, March 15.

Gordon, who is a Jamaican lawyer practicing mainly in Barbados, is representing David Straker, Donald George, and Lindon Chiverton who allegedly were caught at sea in possession of cocaine in 2015.

The other accused, Anderson Flax, is being represented by attorney Patrick Thompson.

In court, Gordon claimed that Senior Magistrate Richards was being unfair, and was giving the prosecution “more bites of the cherry” than she was giving the defence.

‘Through the back door’

Gordon was also locked in legal arguments with senior prosecuting attorney Garcia Kelly.

He challenged the prosecution’s bid to tender a compact disc into evidence in a manner that he described as being ‘through the back door’.

The compact disc reportedly contains incriminating photos of the cocaine that was allegedly found on the two vessels occupied by the accused men.

The prosecution had sought to enter the said disc through a police witness who Gordon said was not the person who actually captured the photos.

The defence attorney argued that the police witness would not be able to properly testify as to how the photos were prepared. He also stated that it was not an acceptable argument that the police witness was present when the said photos were being captured.

“[The prosecuting] council should be admonished for that sneaky behaviour,” Gordon told the court.

He further urged the court to have the actual photographer summoned to verify the integrity of the photos. The court was told, however, that the photographer was not available.

Thereafter, Senior Magistrate Richards turned down Gordon’s request, and effectively ruled in favour of the prosecution.

Magistrate Richards however noted that the police witness who did not capture the photographs must give a detailed testimony of the procedure he witnessed when the photographs were being taken and uploaded on to the compact disc.

She further stated that, if she is satisfied with the police witness’ account of how the said photos were handled, she would accept the evidence as true.

Gordon however declared: “The defence is in total disagreement with the ruling, and we don’t accept it.”

Questionable cops

Gordon went on to question the integrity of some law enforcement officers involved in the drug case.

He stated that the police did not act with transparency where his clients are concerned.

According to him, his clients were not present when the vessels in question were searched and the drug allegedly found.

“Was it (the search) done in a manner of transparency so that the defendants’ rights were protected?” Gordon questioned.

He then asserted: “We (members of the defence) are willing to challenge the integrity of the process.”

The accused men are scheduled to return to court today, March 16.

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1 Comment

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