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Jun 24, 2014

6 men go before the Court of Appeal for drug plane in the south

In November of 2010, a plane famously landed on the Southern Highway, and nearby authorities found over twenty-nine thousand kilos of suspected cocaine with a street value of close to a hundred and seventy million Belize dollars. Six persons, police officers Corporal Renel Grant, Corporal Nelson Middleton, Sergeant Lawrence Humes, and Sergeant Jacinto Roches; former Customs boatman Harold Usher, and civilian Victor Logan, were accused of facilitating one of the largest cocaine busts on record in Belize. But after they were tried in 2012, Justice Denis Hanomansingh refused to send the case to the jury on charges of abetment to import a controlled drug, because he believed that the men had no case to answer. The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed and it was heard in part today by President of the Court of Appeal, Manuel Sosa, and Justices Samuel Awich and Dennis Morrison. D.P.P. Cheryl-Lynn Vidal argues that there was a miscarriage of justice that caused the prosecution to be denied a fair opportunity to put their evidence before the court and the jury and that the trial was so unfairly conducted that it potentially predisposed the jury to return a certain verdict if the case had been put to them. In both cases, the D.P.P. blames Justice Hanomansingh’s behavior, which allegedly included his refusing the prosecutions’ applications, questioning witnesses, commenting on the demeanor and evidence of witnesses and the prosecution, denying the prosecution the right to call a certain witness because he was supposedly unprepared to ask questions of that witness, and advising defense counsel as to strategy on the case. The case resumes on Friday following the court’s ruling in the Lavern Longsworth case but may be called before then as the Court winds down its mid-year session with two civil appeals before the final Day of Judgment on Friday. Leroy Banner appeared with the D.P.P. while the six men are represented by Senior Counsels Hubert Elrington and Simeon Sampson and attorney Anthony Sylvestre.

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1 Response for “6 men go before the Court of Appeal for drug plane in the south”

  1. CEO says:

    By the end of the week they will be free!

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