Basseterre, St.Kitts (September 3rd 2013):-The case against Mr. Elvis “Jamdown” Manners, popular Kittitian personality, was today put off indefinitely after the Prosecution continued to dodge their duty to bring evidence and make their case against Jamdown.
After bringing Mr. Elvis “Jamdown” Manners to Court on nine (9) occasions under the outdated law of sedition, the Prosecution today failed to fulfil their responsibility to bring evidence after laying the charge.
The new Director of Public Prosecutions Mr. Travers Sinanan instead submitted to Magistrate Renold Benjamin that Jamdown should first declare what his Defence is, and whether it is a Constitutional Defence. The new DPP seemed not to be aware of our Constitutional provisions which guarantees the fundamental rights of all citizens.
Under the Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis, all citizens including Jamdown are presumed innocent of a charge brought against them. It is for the Prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jamdown is guilty. The Prosecution must bring evidence in order to prove the guilt of the person they bring a charge against. The Constitution gives all citizens the right to remain silent and to only give their Defence if they wish. The new DPP did not address the fact that the Crown has a duty not to trample on these sacred rights.
Jamdown’s Defence Team was led by Counsel Terence Byron, CMG. Appearing with Mr. Byron were Mr. Chesley Hamilton, Mr. Vincent Byron, Ms. Talibah Byron, and Ms. Natasha Grey.
Mr. Byron submitted to the Magistrate that the Prosecution has the burden of proof, and therefore Jamdown cannot be forced to say or do anything to help the Prosecution to make their case. Mr. Byron pointed out the stunning approach of the new DPP in which the Defendant is actually being asked to outline his Defence before the Prosecution even brings any evidence or witnesses whatsoever.
The case against Jamdown came out of PAM’s massive Land Swap March in December 2012 when Jamdown was pulled out of the March by police and arrested for sedition. Defence Counsel Terence Byron explained that the charge of sedition came from England, but even England has already abolished this charge because it violates the Constitutional right of freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental right under our Constitution. Mr. Byron submitted that since the Constitution is the supreme law of St. Kitts and Nevis, every law that clashes with the Constitution must fall.