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“Kazaman” murder accused might walk free

“Kazaman” murder accused might walk free

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This coming Monday, three men charged with murder could be set free, if the prosecution fails to produce its witnesses.{{more}}

In the matter of taxi driver Peter “Kazaman” Joseph, who was slain on November 30, 2004, in which Webster Woodley, Michael Samuel and Grenadian Sheldon Bain stand accused, presiding High Court Judge Frederick Bruce-Lyle announced on Tuesday that he was granting a final adjournment because the matter had been going on for too long.

The prosecution, led by Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams, requested an adjournment to accommodate witnesses who were out of state and who play a crucial role in their case.

All three defence attorneys: Stephen Williams, Nicole Sylvester and Kay Bacchus-Browne brought it to the Court’s attention that they were ready to proceed on the matter and that it is unfair to their clients that the matter had been on hold for such a prolonged period. Bacchus-Browne noted that the case had had a record number of arraignments. “I have been ready for this matter for over a year, and I am vexed that this matter is not ready for trial,” Bacchus-Browne stressed.

Prosecutor Colin Williams said that the matter had to be adjourned since there are overseas witnesses and it is a matter of coordinating them. Williams added that on many occasions the prosecution has yielded to requests for adjournment from the defence.

The DPP further noted that throughout the past year, each defense counsel had had to travel overseas for other engagements and that he did not want to schedule matters around that time. Williams added that it proved difficult to get the matter started due to the Independence holiday and finalizing other materials necessary for the case. He also highlighted the fact that the investigating officer has since retired and is residing in Bermuda.

Last November, accusations were raised by the defence that three Preliminary Investigations had been held in one. The three attorneys stated the inquiry was held in unconstitutional circumstances and was in breach of the criminal procedure code and due process of law.

Prosecutor Williams told journalists outside the court that the Prosecution is ready to start on Monday and intends to call 12 witnesses.(KW)