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Jul 10, 2018

CCJ Chides Court of Appeal for Procedural Flaws in Henry’s Case

Henry challenged his conviction, as well the sentence, before the Court of Appeal of Belize, making a case that the substantial delays in the trial and appellate processes violated his constitutional right to a fair trial within a reasonable time.  Attorney Kevin Arthurs, who represented Henry, also sought clarity before the CCJ in respect of the initial Court of Appeal decision.


Kevin Arthurs, Attorney for Gilbert Henry

Kevin Arthurs

“If it’s for procedural clarity we also questioned what is the remedy that is sought to be issued by this court, if not there can‘t be a retrial or an order that the lower court provides the curing paragraph at the beginning.  We say that a declaration that the judgment is irregular takes away from the substance of what ought to have been delivered to Mr. Henry and puts us squarely at the issue of Mr. Henry being punished for procedural error or clumsiness that appears.”


CCJ Judge

“But you will conceded though, Mr. Arthurs, that in this particular case, I mean there could be other cases where what happened here could cause very serious consequences for an accused person, for a person who has been convicted.  But in this particular case Mr. Henry did not really suffer any prejudice did he?”


Kevin Arthurs

“Although it‘s a footnote, the only thing he suffered is that this matter still remained with his name on it before the court and although he has been assured that it doesn‘t affect his liberty, he surely must be going through some measure of, I don’t want to use an emotive word, but trauma to still have this matter coming up, even though it‘s just a footnote in respect to the complaint that is the substance of the appeal.  So on that ground, and remember your honors, that his complaint was that there was a delay in me having my matter concluded and the extension of this appeal is sort of a continuation of him not having his matter completely concluded.  I don‘t know if I have answered…”


CCJ Judge

“You would like us to affirm the Court of Appeal‘s written judgment on the basis that they were right to regard the trial as a nullity given the length of time that elapsed in concluding the matter?  I‘m trying to understand what you want.  What is it that you want the court to do and I am assuming that you want the court to say that the second judgment is the correct judgment.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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