Friday, Oct 24th

LATEST:
You are here: Islands Islands News Court to rule in Vesuvius appeals on December 20

Court to rule in Vesuvius appeals on December 20

~ Lawyers plead not guilty ~

BELAIR--The decisions in the Vesuvius case appeals will be given December 20, the Joint Court of Justice announced Thursday, during the third day of hearings in this marathon trial at Belair Community Centre.

Based on a 94-page closing speech filled with evidence against the suspects, Solicitor-General Taco Stein on Wednesday, requested the Appeals Court to uphold the life sentences for main suspects Omar Jones and Carlos Richardson. He also asked for sentences of between five and nine years for four other suspects in this gang-war case, involving (attempted) murder and manslaughter, firearm possession and membership in a criminal organisation.

It was the defence lawyers' turn Thursday, to respond to the Solicitor-General's demands in their client's cases. The pleadings did not differ much from positions taken at the Court of First Instance. Again, all lawyers pleaded for their clients' full acquittal of all charges.

Attorney Brenda Brooks was not among her pleading colleagues, as she was still absent for medical reasons. The Joint Court set a new date for her pleadings in the cases of Jones and Richardson, which are to be presented during a video-conference with the Court in Curaçao on December 13.

The Prosecutor's Office is holding suspects Ekron "Soca" Morgan, Charles "Duduck" Fleming, Erno Labega and Doniel "Donnell" Thomas responsible for violations of the Fire Weapon Ordinance and of membership in a criminal organisation. Morgan is also considered an accessory to attempted murder, whereas Fleming, Labega and Thomas allegedly assisted in preparing the assault.

Ralph Richardson was the first attorney to address the Court. Richardson said Morgan, who was sentenced to eight years by the Court of First Instance, could not be held for an accessory to the murder of Miguel Arrindell, who was shot and killed on Waterfront Road, Cole Bay, on May 25, 2011.

The lawyer said Morgan was not in Cole Bay that day and unaware that a murder was planned. He denied that Morgan was on the lookout or searching for Arrindell, with whom the brothers Omar and Amador Jones had been entangled in a drug war. Amador Jones was shot dead on April 16, 2011.

"The appearances may be against my client, but he's not a murderer," Richardson said, adding there was "no shred of evidence" that his client had in any way contributed to Arrindell's death.

Richardson aimed his arrows at evidence derived from SMS-messages, which he claimed, were illegally obtained by the Prosecutor. He was also critical of the assistance provided by police officers from islands of the former Netherlands Antilles and the Netherlands in the investigations.

Richardson said the fire-weapon charges were not based on facts. "The Prosecutor's Office is shooting at random," he commented.

Richardson also dismissed claims that Morgan had been a member of the Jones/Labega gang as their drug transport organiser and armoury manager.

In defending Labega, attorney Peggy-Ann Brandon dismissed the statements provided by co-suspect Fleming. He had told the police on November 18, 2011, that after it had become known that Amador Jones was killed by Omax Bye, several persons, Labega among them, decided to search for Bye in seeking revenge.

Brandon presented telecom data in her efforts to convince the Court that the meeting during which the revenge allegedly was discussed had in fact never taken place.

Brandon recommended her client's acquittal of all charges, including the attempted murder of Omax Bye and Kennedy Fergus near Tan Tan supermarket in Dutch Quarter on April 20, 2011. She also denied there was evidence of Labega's involvement in a criminal organisation.

Fleming's lawyer Safira Ibrahim said her client had broken his silence during Wednesday's hearing of his case, during which he said he wanted to retract statements provided to the police in November 2011, because these were incorrect.

"My client filed for appeal because he vehemently denies any involvement in the alleged crimes," Ibrahim said. She pleaded for Fleming's full acquittal, claiming that all evidence against him was based on hearsay.

The lawyer also pointed out that no firearms or ammunition was found during searches at Fleming's house and that no traces of his DNA were found on any confiscated armaments.

Thomas' lawyer Marije Vaders said her client disagreed with his seven-year sentence as meted out by the Court of First Instance. Vaders said she maintained her previous objections against her client's indictment.

Vaders said Thomas confessed to the firearm charges, but stated that the armed revolver, hunting rifle and ammunition found in his house were never used in any Vesuvius crime. In addition, she pleaded not guilty on all other charges.

The Prosecutor's Office is holding Thomas as an accomplice in the assault on Bye and Fergus, and asked for an increase of his prison term from seven to nine years.

The Solicitor-General already responded to Vaders' plea on Thursday. His reaction to the other lawyers' pleadings will follow today, Friday, after which these lawyers will have the opportunity for final remarks.

458 cases of chikungunya
Friday, 24 October 2014
WILLEMSTAD--Curaçao’s Department of Public Health received about 1,500 reports of possible... Read more...
Mosquito fogging starts November 1
Friday, 24 October 2014
PHILIPSBURG--Mosquito fogging throughout the country as part of a regular vector control programme... Read more...
Image
Hurricane Gonzalo’s damage in Bermuda estimated up to $200M
Thursday, 23 October 2014
HAMILTON, Bermuda--Hurricane Gonzalo caused between US $200 million and US $400 million in... Read more...
Image
Dr. Rodney’s widow completes testimony
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
GEORGETOWN, Guyana--Dr. PATRICIA Rodney Tuesday completed her testimony before the Walter Rodney... Read more...
Image
California community suffers as wells dry up
Thursday, 23 October 2014
EAST PORTERVILLE, California--In one of the towns hardest hit by California's drought, the only way... Read more...
Image
White House fence jumper to face mental evaluation
Thursday, 23 October 2014
WASHINGTON--The man arrested after jumping the White House fence on Wednesday night was charged in... Read more...
Image
Canada Parliament gunman had planned to travel to Syria
Thursday, 23 October 2014
OTTAWA--The gunman in Wednesday's attack on Canada's capital had a criminal record and recently... Read more...
Image
Economic bounce, tough campaign point to Rousseff win
Thursday, 23 October 2014
MATEUS LEME, Brazil--President Dilma Rousseff looks positioned to narrowly win a second term on... Read more...
Image
EU strikes compromise to set new climate target
Thursday, 23 October 2014
BRUSSELS--European Union leaders struck a deal on a new target to cut carbon emissions out to 2030,... Read more...
Citigroup will revisit US court over Argentine bond payments
Thursday, 23 October 2014
NEW YORK--A U.S. judge has scheduled a Dec. 2 hearing to weigh whether or not Citigroup Inc can... Read more...
Image
What must the tourists think of us!!
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Hello Government officials, Car rental agencies, Hotel managers, and anyone else who has the first... Read more...
Image
Confused
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Dear Queenie, I have two friends who always visit me at the same time. Even when I arrange to get... Read more...
Image
Lievense engineering Relay Race strategy
Thursday, 23 October 2014
SIMPSON BAY--The 27th annual Around the Island Relay Race may break the record for most teams... Read more...
Image
Sharapova falls to Kvitova as Williams bounces back
Thursday, 23 October 2014
SINGAPORE-- Maria Sharapova's bid to end the year ranked number one was left hanging by a thread... Read more...
Image
A Minute With: Shailene Woodley on teen sex, violence and Marvel
Thursday, 23 October 2014
LOS ANGELES--For actress Shailene Woodley, transitioning from her teen years into adulthood in... Read more...
Image
Keanu Reeves returns to the dark side in John Wick
Thursday, 23 October 2014
NEW YORK--Actor Keanu Reeves travels to a murky underworld in the action thriller, "John Wick,"... Read more...
Image
Carib Swimteam Coach
Thursday, 23 October 2014
New CST coach makes an impact ~ CST wins Corail Helicopter Fall Meet ~ Carib Swim Team (CST) held... Read more...
Image
Hurricane Story
Thursday, 23 October 2014
The writer is a student at Methodist Agogic Centre, read her great review of the passing of... Read more...
Editorial - On their own terms
Thursday, 23 October 2014
MAN leader Charles Cooper did the right thing by apologising for saying "blood will flow" should... Read more...
Editorial - Not much of a choice
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
By unanimously passing a motion rejecting the instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers to... Read more...
Image
Friday Oct. 23, 2014
Friday, 24 October 2014
Image
Thursday Oct. 23, 2014
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Notices October 22
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Friday, October 24 KIDS NIGHT OUT Organised by Beyond Writing Foundation Place: Culture &... Read more...
Notices October 21
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Friday, October 24 KIDS NIGHT OUT Organised by Beyond Writing Foundation Place: Culture &... Read more...