Benschop’s lawyers intervene in inmates’ ‘trial by date’ motion

Stabroek News
October 17, 2003

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Lawyers for treason accused Mark Benschop have filed a summons to intervene in the matter regarding the constitutional motion filed by eight prisoners seeking to have trials held in chronological order.

Justice Jainarayan Singh Jnr, before whom the matter will come up for hearing on November 17, yesterday granted leave for attorney Priya Manickchand to file an affidavit in answer to the affidavit in support of the summons.

Manickchand and attorney Glen Hanoman, based on the aforementioned motion, sought and were granted nisi orders of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition directing the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to show cause why a writ of certiorari should not be issued quashing her decision to present the indictments of Leslie Tappin, Gladstone George and Benschop, et al. In the motion, the applicants contend that they had been incarcerated before the named accused and should therefore be tried before them.

Khemraj Ramjattan, for the DPP, had objected to the procedure employed by the inmates’ lawyers to bring the matter before the court, and was overruled.

Benschop’s legal team, which includes Benjamin Gibson, Emily Dodson and Sean Allicock, has since been seeking to intervene, an action to which the inmates’ lawyers are opposed.

Justice Singh Jnr set November 3 for arguments on the application for intervention after Manickchand indicated to the court that she had not seen the summons and its corresponding affidavit and would require time to respond.

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