Prosecutor should have been ready to proceed
Stabroek News
March 1, 2004

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Dear Editor,

On Wednesday 18th February, I visited the Georgetown Magistrate's Court to see how the murder cases or rather the Preliminary Inquiry against Ashton King and Shawn Hinds was progressing. The case was eventually called after the two had been bustled into the docks.

The Prosecutor, one Mr. Gordon Peters, requested that the magistrate give him some time, even hinting a month, to be ready. The Defence Lawyer immediately countered requesting that the Prosecutor should let the Court know why he was not ready and why he was requesting such a lengthy time.

Her Worship, the Chief Magistrate bluntly remarked that if the prosecutor was not ready he was not ready.

I was surprised to hear such a response. To further compound it the magistrate granted the prosecutor time in excess of that which he had requested, the new date now being March 24th.

Now, note this is a murder case. To charge someone for the capital offence of murder, the Police should have completed the investigations and accumulated the evidence that would beyond doubt be sufficient to warrant the accused being placed before a Judge and Jury. So why in heaven's name does the prosecution require so much time to commence the preliminary inquiry?

The fundamental rights of man should be protected by the justice system. The magistrate, in a democratic society, is there to ensure that justice is dispensed to all parties involved in a reasonable, respectable and unprejudiced manner.

Yours faithfully,

Cecil Deane