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Dec 8, 2015

D.P.P. Appeals Acquittal of Infamous Trio on Murder Charge

A trio of Belize City men, including twenty-two-year-old Orel Leslie, thirty-year-old Brandon Baptist and Tyrone Meighan was recently acquitted of the November 2012 murder of B.D.F. soldier James Noralez.  While Leslie continues to enjoy freedom, his alleged accomplices are once again on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being arrested and charged for an aggravated burglary at the residence of Lebanese consul Sarkis Abou Nehra last Thursday.  Despite being held on pretrial detention, Baptist and Meighan, along with Leslie, will appear before the Court of Appeal since Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal has filed documents appealing the decision of the Supreme Court.  So, is there a sufficient ground for the D.P.P. to present before the appellate court?

 

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney

“Well, as you know, that trial turned out to be a lengthy trial.  There were three attorneys: Ellis Arnold, Arthur Saldivar and myself, in relation to three persons who were accused for that matter, who had been in prison for a while. The trial proceeded; it was under the amendment to the law of trial without jury. And at the close of prosecution’s case, which revolved essentially around one particular witness who claimed to have heard statements—he is not an eyewitness, he didn’t see anything—it was a case that would have been based on circumstantial evidence. That witness was allowed to testify; there was no objection against him testifying. He said that he was at a yard when a vehicle left with the person who is later deceased and then he was also at the yard when the vehicle returned and that person was not in it. At the close of the prosecution case, the law allows where the attorneys are of the view that there was not sufficient evidence for the court to continue the trial, they have a duty to the court, they have a duty to the accused persons to make a submission. A submission as duly made pointing out that in the trial itself, in the presentation of evidence, there was insufficient evidence, not enough evidence to continue with the trial. Lengthy submissions were made and of course the prosecution also made lengthy and extensive responses to those submissions. At the end of hearing and doing the whole research into the matter, the trial judge made a ruling that under the law it will not be of any further assistance for the trial to proceed. There was in fact insufficient evidence. But there is an important point, the D.P.P. Office has appealed—this is their prerogative—they have appealed saying no, the trial should have gone on. There’s going to be some kind of hopefully new ruling that may emerge out of that matter because as the law stands or as most of the law stands, when a judge is in charge of a trial, it is the jury who are the judges of the facts. Where there is a trial, this new business of having a trial without a jury, the judge then becomes the jury; he is also going to decide on the facts of the case and he will decide on the law governing all the relevant facts. In this case, there is no jury. If in the course of the trial preceding, the judge who is also the jury is saying, “But where is the evidence? Where is any link between what these persons are alleged to have done? Where is the evidence? And if he is seeing no evidence, it bears no facts. If there was a jury he would be required to leave the trial to proceed. When the prosecution closes their case, it would then be for the defense to present the accused persons to say anything, if they wish to, and to say either from the dock or the witness stand or to remain silent, which is also their right and to call any witness that they wish to present to the court.”

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1 Response for “D.P.P. Appeals Acquittal of Infamous Trio on Murder Charge”

  1. Hatari says:

    All you have to do to get off of any charge is hire the right liar (opps lawyer). Once again the police and DPP have failed us.

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