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Jan 29, 2016

No Bail for Jahan Abadi and Haung Chong Park

Jahangir Abadi

The strange legal tangles of US national Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark Knight et al remain very fluid tonight. In a nutshell, three persons were formally arraigned on Thursday – Bradley Paumen, Jahangir Abadi and Haung Chong Park. Magistrate Albert Hoare refused to arraign Lisburn Anderson because Magistrate Ladonna John had already accepted a plea from Anderson before she recused herself from the Paumen related matters before her. Paumen was remanded until March eighth. Abadi and Park were detained until a bail hearing set for eleven in Cayo today and Anderson was handed back to Magistrate John for better or worse. So that’s where the matter stood at five-thirty p.m. on Thursday. Mike Rudon was out West this morning and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

At eleven this morning Belmopan businessman Jahangir Abadi and Korean Haung Chong Park awaited their bail hearing before Magistrate Albert Hoare in Cayo. Both persons were arraigned on Thursday in Belmopan, Abadi for Abetment of Crime to Pervert the Course of Justice, and Park for Conspiracy of Crime to Pervert the Course of Justice.  But by midday attorneys Kevin Arthurs and Estevan Perera had not made an appearance and Magistrate Hoare remanded both persons until March eighth.

 

By the time Arthurs and Perera did appear, at around 12:30pm, their clients had already been escorted back to Belmopan and Magistrate Albert Hoare had departed the building.

 

Haung Chong Park

Kevin Arthurs, Attorney for Abadi and Park

“Counsel and I had another matter in the Supreme Court and we had called to inform the Court which we did and we were allowed to or permitted to be here by 12:30. We are made to understand that this was relayed to the Magistrate. For some reason unknown to us the Magistrate…I don’t know if there is a bit of discomfort in him at the level of the case which is a very small matter for our clients because there are two separate matters going on here. Unfortunately as we keep on bringing up to the Court the two issues are being muddled together. For some reason the Magistrate…I was told he was seen running up the hill when I came…he has chosen not to hear the matter. At the end of the day what has happened is we have someone who is in custody for which our exchanges with the D.P.P. herself, and you saw us on the verandah speaking earlier, is that she doesn’t necessarily have an issue with them being admitted bail.”

 

The charges – Conspiracy and Abetment of Crime to Pervert the Course of Justice – stem, investigators say, from their involvement in the plan to place a firearm in the vehicle of businessman Michael Modiri, just before that vehicle was searched at a Police checkpoint. They’re not common charges by any means, but are serious – punishable on conviction of five years at the Magistrate Court level and ten years at the Supreme Court.

 

Kevin Arthurs

Kevin Arthurs

“What I can explain is as Senior Counsel Mr. Lindo has said it’s something he has never seen before. It’s a recent amendment and when you look at the Act itself – it’s a 2014 amendment – there are three sections that were amended at the time. It was designed for persons who were supposed to go to the Supreme Court and testified but somehow they changed their story. It was designed to deal with those persons who tried to get persons not to testify or who changed their stories halfway. It was not designed in any way to deal with any situation which they are alleging happened in this case.”

 

Abadi and Park have now been on lockdown since Wednesday, and the chances are slim that they will be able to secure bail before the weekend. But Arthurs says he is going to try anyway.

 

Kevin Arthurs

“I’d have to run him down…but in all seriousness we are looking at other options. We have spoken with the D.P.P. who has been very judicious in the way that she has been assisting our clients. Again I want to repeat that there are two separate matters going on, and she has been very helpful in terms of getting us to that position where we can be heard before a court, hopefully today.”

 

That did not happen. Abadi and Park will spend the weekend in lockdown, with a hearing scheduled hopefully for early next week.  Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

Where accused Lisburn Anderson is concerned, his fate was in legal limbo. Magistrate Ladonna John recused herself after taking a plea from him, and Magistrate Albert Hoare refused to deal with it on that ground. We are told that the Chief Magistrate will be travelling to Belmopan on Monday to deal with it personally.

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