By: Gavincia Clarke
(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Nevis Circuit began its April Criminal Assizes at the Charlestown High Court this morning Tuesday, April 16, 2013 before His Lordship John Benjamin, QC.
Due to the one week adjournment of the commencement of the April Assizes, two additional cases have been added to the list. A total of eight matters are now set to be heard.
All of the accused were in court and a trial date was set by the DPP for each matter.
On the docket are: (1) murder case, (4) counts of rape, (2) counts of larceny, (1) attempted rape, (1) armed robbery, (1) indecent assault and (3) counts of fraudulent conversion.
Akeem Foster who was unrepresented pleaded guilty to burglary but not guilty to robbery. His case was set to be heard on April 24, 2013.
Delvin Wilkerson who was charged for the murder of nineteen year old Chantelica Thompson had his trial date set for April 22, 2013. He is being represented by assigned Attorneys Dr. Henry Browne and Hesketh Benjamin.
Also on the docket was Geoffrey Romany who faces three charges of fraudulent conversion. Romany stated that his P.I finished last week Thursday and a date has already been set for his trial but as of this morning he had not received his deposition.
Acting Director of Public Prosecution, Rhonda Nisbett-Browne advised the court that Romany would have his deposition no later than today, April 16, 2012, thus giving him enough time to prepare for his case that is scheduled to commence on April 25, 2013. However, Romany asked for the matter to be traversed until the next Criminal Assizes in November. Romany was then instructed by His Lordship that a decision would be made on April 25, 2013.
The matter involving Attorney Denzil Hinds also came up in court this morning. The Attorney who was held in contempt of court for the last Criminal Assizes appeared before the court to continue representation of his clients.
However, he was reminded by His Lordship that he was charged by the court for contempt and His Lordship was of the opinion that he should not appear.
It was in the view of Attorney Hinds that there is no legislation, or legal provision in the laws of St. Kitts-Nevis; and there is no order from any court in the Federation or outside of the Federation that prevented him from practicing as an Attorney. This is notwithstanding the fact that he was held in contempt of court in November 2012. He further stated that his practice is still in place and has not been suspended.
To this, Acting DPP, Rhonda Nisbett- Browne stated that Attorney Hinds should not appear since his matter had not yet been settled at the Court Of Appeal. In addition she stated that she did not think that Attorney Hinds should appear before the court for this matter due to some issues that occurred in the previous sittings. She asked for the matter to be traversed.
His Lordship then stated that in his humble opinion the defendants should not be punished because of their counsel. Attorney Hinds then decided to turn the matter over to Dr. Henry Browne who will proceed with the matter.
The other cases are sexual offenses and this media house was advised not to report on those cases in an effort to protect the victims.