WPA against move to debar chief magistrate from treason trial
By Miranda La Rose
July 28, 2002
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has condemned the move by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to debar acting Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen from the current Benschop-Bynoe treason trial.
The opposition party said in a press release yesterday that it “holds no brief for the accused, but defends their right to a fair trial.”
DPP, Dennis Hanoman-singh, on behalf of the prosecution, submitted an application on Tuesday to the chief magistrate for a three-week adjournment in order to effect the arrest of Phillip Bynoe who is jointly charged with Mark Benschop with treason.
The party said that the DPP’s haste to remove the chief magistrate from the case, which it referred to as a political one, opened the government to the charge of interference in the judiciary.
“Independence of the judiciary is one of the cardinal principles of a democratic order, and tampering with or undermining it or seeming to do so is unacceptable, the party declared.
Therefore, the WPA said, the DPP in the interest of upholding the integrity of the justice system should withdraw his request to have the chief magistrate removed.