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May 8, 2017

Novel Prosecution Brings Pitfalls for Accuser and Accused

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

The fact that the woman has gone on record in the media to tell her story may very well prejudice her case.  Should charges be preferred on the magistrate in the days ahead, it is expected that he will vacate his office.  Attorney ‘Dickie’ Bradley explains the process that the Solicitor General’s office will take should the police carry out the directives of the Director of Public Prosecutions and bring Rodriguez before the court.

 

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney at Law

“The complainant is giving both print media and television interviews.  It is advisable that the complainant says nothing more than what she has said, giving a detail of what transpired.  There is going to be a lawyer representing that magistrate and what is being said in the media is on the record.  The D.P.P. was able to get a conviction against well-known Anti-Christ, based solely on an interview she gave to the media and so it‘s advisable that the complainant say no more because what she says will be used against her and she has been giving a blow by blow account to some media as I understand.  So I don‘t know who the attorneys for the magistrate will be if he‘s arrested and charged because today comes to an end and it would be unfair to go to his house around three or four in the morning with two or three truck loads of G.S.U. in order to go and arrest and so on and so forth because he has come back home and presented himself.  So that is that concern.  The other concern that people are raising is that being a sitting magistrate which means the person is presently a magistrate in the system.  You cannot sue a magistrate in the course of his judicial work, in the course of making decisions, doing what the magistrate does.  You can’t take legal action against him for doing judicial work.  If you are dissatisfied with a decision of a magistrate you apply for a judicial review to review those decisions.  But a magistrate is also a citizen of the country and we’re all subject to the law, and drives his vehicle negligently or under the influence can be arrested for that matter, clearly.  So an allegation of the nature of what we are discussing, he can be arrested for that.  He can be taken to court.  In this case, if it goes to trial, the trial will be a jury trial in Dangriga, a jury made up of his peers in Dangriga.  So yes that can happen.  Clearly it would not be proper for a sitting magistrate to continue to serve as a magistrate, hearing cases with an allegation of that nature.  So magistrates come under magistrates and judges come under the Judicial Services Commission for the purposes of transfer, demotion, promotion and discipline.  And the law that governs public officers is, once you are charged for a criminal offense then your department, your ministry, in this case the Attorney General’s Office, the Solicitor General’s Office would bring to the attention of the Legal and Judicial Services Commission that a magistrate has been arrested for a serious offense and then that magistrate would be interdicted from his office.”

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