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Chief Magistrate recuses herself from EG Lynch’s case

Chief Magistrate recuses herself from EG Lynch’s case

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With Chief Magistrate Sonya Young recusing herself from the Elwardo “EG” Lynch matter, there are still questions surrounding the outcome of the matter.{{more}}

In a judgement handed down on November 19, 2010, Young recused herself from the matter as a result of the naming of her brother by defense witness, Antonio “Que Pasa” Gellizeau, as a witness to Senator Julian Francis driving (Gellizeau’s) vehicle.

Gellizeau revealed this bit of information during the lengthy trial, which Francis had denied earlier.

Lynch, host of “The New Times” programme, is charged with making false statements likely to cause fear and alarm.

Speaking to lawyer for Lynch, Kay Bacchus-Browne told SEARCHLIGHT that she had requested that Young recuse herself from the matter on the ground of prejudice, arising from certain oral testimony of Gellizeau.

In her judgement, Young noted, “…The court was very upset about the manner in which the evidence was presented. It felt that in the interest of justice and clearly out of a basic respect for the court and the justice system, some notice should have been given to court, preferably at the outset of the trial or at the beginning of the case for the defence, of the possibility of such evidence being led. It would reasonably have been the more appropriate time to deal with recusal.”

The law gives a magistrate the right to recuse herself from a matter anytime before judgement is passed.

Bacchus-Browne, however, told SEARCHLIGHT that she only called Gellizeau in the interest of justice, because she did not know exactly what he was going to say.

At the conclusion of the trial, in an attempt to ensure that neither party harboured any impression of possible prejudice, the court requested to speak with Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams and Bacchus-Browne in chambers.

During that meeting, Bacchus-Browne apologized for the manner in which the testimony unfolded and said she hoped it would not affect her client in any way.

“Although the piece of evidence neither touched nor concerned the matter in any material particular and certainly would not influence the court’s decision, justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done…,” stated Young.

Young said she has no personal bias or prejudice concerning any party, nor does she have personal knowledge of the facts that are disputed.

“I am charged with a duty of impartiality in administering justice…However, I do not wish this trial to degenerate by way of appeal into a battle about whether the defendant could possibly be fairly treated in circumstances such as these, or where trial of the real issues is overshadowed and relegated,” said Young.

She expressed, more importantly, she wants neither party leaving with the notion that justice was not served. The Chief Magistrate stated that after much consideration and due to the peculiar circumstances of the matter, she recuses herself from it.

A decision on the matter was expected to be delivered by November 3, 2010.