The Serious Offences Court has been provided with equipment to assist in the smooth administration of justice n St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Bureau of International Narcotics Law- Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the United States Embassy in Barbados provided the needed equipment through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to the Serious Offences Court.
The gift, comprising a laptop computer, speakers and a projector, has been handed over to the Court.
The equipment will be used primarily when video recorded interviews with accused persons are to be played in Court.
SVG has in recent times enacted two important laws which permit the use of technology in Court. These are the Interviewing of Suspects for Serious Crimes Act, No: 4 of 2012, and the Witness (Special Measures) Act, No: 37 of 2013.
Since the passage of the new legislation, the Court depended on the police to assist providing equipment as well as an officer to operate the system.
Now that the Court has its own facilities for the playing of electronic interviews, trials and Preliminary inquiries can proceed without requiring police officers to assist in providing and operating the equipment.
The INL, along with the Criminal Justice Advisor to the Eastern Caribbean, continues to provide valuable support to improving the delivery of justice in SVG. Earlier this year the High Court received a DVD player to permit the playing of DVD’s at trials in the High Court and the booklet, “Points to Prove”, which is being provided to every police officer, was also funded under this project.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions/National Prosecution Service says it is extremely thankful to the INL for the timely assistance it has been providing.