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Nov 3, 2017

Audrey Matura Barred from Meeting Client on Trial at Kolbe

A routine trip, by attorney Audrey Matura to the Central Prison in Hattieville to visit with clients, turned ugly this morning. Around ten o’clock, Matura says she was removed from the prison compound by Kolbe personnel after she was refused visitation to one of her clients. It came as a surprise to Matura who had finished meeting with a client and wanted to meet with another, but was denied. The sixteen-year-old minor is currently in trial in Dangriga; he was jointly charged along with an adult for a Punta Gorda murder. While Matura represents the minor, attorneys Dickie Bradley and Oscar Selgado are legal counsel for the adult in the murder trial, which is before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Dangriga court. A furious Matura says that her attorney-client rights, by law, have been violated.

 

Audrey Matura

Audrey Matura, Attorney

“I had indicated to the court before that there is a possibility that when the final decision comes out because of some personal emergency, I would not be available. And so as is the protocol, now that I can confirm my own personal plans, I had to go to the prison to talk to my client to explain to him where we are and what is the possibility in case the court sends a notice while I am away; how we will deal with that and to put him on notice because he is a minor. I asked the officer in the records section by where I was to call and find out if they will bring my client to me or if I will go over at Wagner’s Facilities. And they told me wait because Mister Vernon Bennett, who is the officer in charge of security, wants to talk to me. So I said no problem. He told me that there is nothing on record at the prison that says that I am the attorney for this client. And I said but show me what rule of regulation that I have to come and tell you; that has never been the process. You don’t write a letter in advance and say hey I am the attorney for this person; they give us the courtesies because the law says it. We have right here the same Prison Act; we have in regulation ninety-six where it says reasonable facilities shall be allowed for the legal advisor of a prison, who is party to legal proceedings—civil or criminal—to interview the prisoner with reference to those proceedings in the sight, but not in the hearing of an officer. So I know the regulations are, I know what the laws are; plus my client has a constitutional right to at all time have access to his attorney especially when you are in the midst of trial.”

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