The New York-based Vincentian calypsonian who was arrested at the E.T. Joshua Airport on July 22 after a five-week vacation and charged with making threats to kill Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, is now free to leave St. Vincent and the Grenadines, although the charge has not been disposed of in the court.
On Monday, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias reviewed the bail conditions for the singer, Paul “I-Madd” Scrubb, after the prosecution told the Serious Offences Court they were not ready to proceed — after a three-month adjournment.
The Crown requested another adjournment, which was granted amidst strong objections by defence counsel, Israel Bruce, who told iWitness News after the hearing:
“The crown, as I anticipated, was not ready to proceed with the matter.”
Srubb is charged that between Dec. 9 and 31, 2015, he “maliciously sent or uttered threats to kill, to wit, ‘Ralph Gonsalves should be assassinated, also his whole damn family period; … Blessed love’, contrary to section 165(1) of the Criminal Code”.
He is also charged that between Dec. 9 and 31, 2015 he “uttered seditious words, to wit, ‘‘Ralph Gonsalves should be assassinated, also his whole damn family period; … Blessed love’ contrary to section 53(1) (b) of the Criminal Code”.
When he first appeared in court on July 25, the accused man was not required to plead to the indictable charges.
He was granted bail in the sum of EC$25,000 with one surety and was ordered to report to the Calliaqua Police Station on Mondays and Thursdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Also during that initial hearing in July, the artiste was also ordered to surrender all travel documents and obtain the permission of the court to leave the country. Stop notices were also placed at all ports of entry and exit and the preliminary inquiry was set for Monday, Oct. 31.
But when the case was called on Monday, the prosecution told the court that they were not ready to proceed and requested a further adjournment.
Bruce objected and asked the court to dismiss the matter for want of prosecution.
He pointed out that Scrubb lives abroad, adding that the court was very lenient with the Crown and granted them three months and to prepare their case.
The lawyer argued that such an attitude by the Crown amounted to disregard for the court.
Bruce further told the court that Scrubb lost his job in the United States as a consequence of the charge.
He later told iWitness News: “He has a mortgage to pay, has not been able to sustain his mortgage. He has his kid to take are of — has to rely on other persons to do that whilst he is here.
“And so all of that was put before the court to show how much punishment this man has gone through whilst he’s innocent. That’s his constitutional right. He is innocent until proven guilty.”
The court granted the wish of the Crown but reviewed the bail conditions.
Scubb’s passport, driver’s licenses, and cellular phone have been returned to him and the reporting conditions and stop notices have been discontinued.
The matter has been adjourned to Jan. 26, 2017.
Speaking to iWitness News after the hearing, Bruce said: “I have my own thinking. I wouldn’t advance that thought process now. I will wait time, but that’s where the situation is. We will wait until dateline 2017 and see what happens.”
Bruce said that while his client can now leave the country, he is not sure that Scrubb would.
“Whether he will travel or not, I cannot answer that. What I do know, all being equal, he will present himself in court on 26th of January 2017 to respond to the charges of which he is totally innocent.”
Watch below Bruce’s reaction in July to the charges brought against Scrubb: