The trial of the prison warder charged with corruption and conspiracy in connection with last September’s prison break has been adjourned — again.
Louie Cupid, 45, of Murray’s Village, was scheduled to be tried at the Serious Offences Count of Tuesday in connection with corruption and conspiracy charges arising from the escape, between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2019, of accused murderer, Veron Primus, 32.
The matter was initially scheduled for trial on Jan. 6 but, on that date, the prosecution was not ready to proceed and the case was adjourned to last Monday, Feb. 10.
However, when Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne called the matter, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told the court that the Crown was not ready to proceed.
Delplesche told the court that the file was at the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and was being examined by Crown Counsel Tamika Mc Kenzie.
The prosecutor said there were certain things to be done in the investigation before the trial, adding that in the circumstances, the Crown was forced to seek an adjournment.
The prosecutor told the court that disclosure was yet to take place.
However, defence counsel Grant Connell asked what was the nexus between what was taking place at the office of the DPP and the order of the court to disclose.
“What does the DPP not having her house in order have to do with what the court ordered?” Connell said, adding, “they have no right to disrespect your honourable court like that, but they are quite comfortable”.
The lawyer said that the police and prosecution are comfortable disrespecting the court.
“Your order must be complied with,” Connell said, adding that McKenzie cannot defy the court.
He said that if disclosure was done, he could have come to court with a totally different submission.
He said that in the meantime, Cupid — who has been suspended from work pending the outcome of the case — will go another month without his pay while the prosecution who brought him to court as an innocent man puts its house in order.
He noted that the man, as part of his bail conditions, had to surrender his travel document and must report to the police.
“Five, six months on, you’re still organising,” he said, adding that he only rose out of procedure.
In response to Connell’s comments, the chief magistrate said that the case was still within the timeline by which it should be disposed of.
Delplesche told the court that when the police complete their investigation they send the file to the office of the DPP.
The prosecutor, who is a former detective, said that the time between when the file reaches his office and the court date is critical, because a Crown counsel has to examine the file.
“And if we get it in ample time, we will be able to go through it and make a decision,” Delplesche said, adding that the office of the DPP does not rubber stamp files.
The chief magistrate reiterated that the case was still within the timelines, adding that she would like it and all matters to be dealt with the urgency that is needed.
Browne granted the adjournment and put the next date for April 6.
Connell then rose and asked whether that date is within the timeline or whether it was a final adjournment.
Browne said that the parties should be ready on that date.
Connell, however, asked the court to max out the timeline “so that she can have full time — the DPP — to look over and she knows that she is at her maximum.
“Because to come back again, my friend rise, some document missing, the ink ain’t dry, something… At least, let this man know where he stands,” Connell said.
The chief magistrate said that new date was close to the end of the timeline.