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Jun 27, 2008

New D.P.P. has hands full

On Tuesday Cheryl-Lynn Branker-Taitt was approved by the Senate as Acting Director of Public Prosecutions but the number of cases and the imminent departure of two attorneys from her office, are already posing challenges to the new D.P.P. Today Branker-Taitt refuted a report that twenty-six cases for the June Session were struck out because the indictments were not properly filed. She did admit to the flaws in the indictments, saying that it was because there was no D.P.P. in office, but said that all the cases are still before the court and the defendants will be taken to court on proper indictments. At the time when the indictments were filed, her predecessor Lutchman Sooknandan had already demitted office.

Eighty-one cases are before the June court session, which opened on the seventeenth of this month, twenty are new and fifty-two are old cases. According to the D.P.P., none of the cases have concluded because the first case of the session was an old one in which the three defendants are charged with Murder and Robbery and the Crown was awaiting a ruling from the Belize Court of Appeal that would have impacted the case. The cases will be shared in the courts of Justices Herbert Lord, Adolph Lucas and Michelle Arana when she returns from study leave next month.

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