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Aug 19, 2014

COLA appeals Penner case

The private prosecution of Elvin Penner, brought by COLA representatives Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren, was thrown out at the Magistrate’s Court level on July twenty-fourth. Penner walked out of court a free man, but the party bringing the claim against him had twenty-one days to appeal. It went somewhat under the radar, but that application for an appeal was filed last week Wednesday by Attorney Kareem Musa. Musa’s clients are petitioning the Supreme Court to examine the decision by Magistrate Aretha Ford which resulted in the matter being thrown out.

 

Kareem Musa, Attorney

Kareem Musa

“This particular hearing at the Supreme Court level will be an examination or a review of Section thirty of the Summary Jurisdiction Procedure Act. The Supreme Court judge that hears this case will take a review of that particular section to determine whether or not the Magistrate, in this instance Miss Aretha Ford, whether that Magistrate ought to have utilized her discretion under Section Thirty to summon the Commissioner of Police to attend the hearing and to deliver up all the evidence that was in his possession. The Magistrate determined that she would exercise her discretion not to summon the Commissioner of Police, and as you may recall she gave three reasons why he would not do so. We believe that this is a case of utmost national importance and it is absolutely necessary for a Supreme Court to look at that section of the law and to determine whether or not it is pointless, because I believe that this particular case involving the Commissioner of Police coming to testify…I believe that this section of the law is directly applicable. If you read that section, it actually contemplates situations where individuals or witnesses may not want to testify, and it gives the Magistrate the authority to summon those witnesses who do not want to come to court. So I believe it is a very important law and it needs closer examination by a Supreme Court to see whether or not that law holds any teeth or whether it is pointless.”

 

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