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Defence lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste. (iWN file photo)
Defence lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste. (iWN file photo)
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Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, lawyer for shooting victim Cornelius John, who has been charged with threatening his wife and a government senator, is raising questions about which court will hear the charges.

John, government senator and deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Ashelle Morgan, as well as assistant Director of Public Prosecution Karim Nelson have been summoned to appear before the Serious Offences Court today (Friday) to answer various charges.

The charges stem from an April 13 incident at Diamond Estate in which John was shot in the left leg.

Morgan is charged that she assaulted John with intent to commit wounding

Ashelle Morgan Cornelius John Karim Nelson
Shooting victim, Cornelius John, centre, as well as Senator Ashelle Morgan, left, and Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Karim Nelson.

“I would like to know what is the venue they are going to try these charges at,” Bacchus-Baptiste said Thursday night on the opposition New Democratic Party’s (NDP) show on NICE Radio, hours after her client was summoned to attend court.

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“Are they going to do this as an indictable something? I would like to know what is that. Whether in something like this, where a man is shot in his leg, [it would be summary or indictable]” Bacchus-Baptiste said.

If the charges are laid summarily, they will be heard by a magistrate.

Bacchus-Baptiste suggested that she would object to Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne presiding over the matters.

The lawyer said it is “going to raise a lot of eyebrows” if the charges are before the chief magistrate, who, as with all summary cases, will act as judge and jury.

“Well, you know that politics is going to come into it. This is Luke Browne’s sister,” she said, referring to the former senator and one-time minister of health, who contested and lost general elections three times for the ruling Unity Labour Party.

“I have nothing against the magistrate personally but justice must been seen to be done,” said Bacchus-Baptiste, a former NDP senator, who failed to win West St. George for the party in the November 2020 general elections.

Rechanne BRwone
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne. (iWN file photo)

John to be late for court

Meanwhile, Bacchus-Baptiste said that her client could not be able to attend court at 8:30 a.m. today, as the summons said.

“Mr. John cannot appear in court tomorrow morning on time because a few hours ago he was at the doctor because he had a problem with his leg and tomorrow he has to be at the hospital from around 8 o’clock,” she said, in an apparent reference to his left leg, in which he was shot.

“So I will have to let the court know that he will be appearing by himself and by counsel but he cannot appear for 8:30 because this was dropped on him this afternoon.”

The lawyer said her client has a medical appointment at the hospital that he must attend.

She said that while generally this is a good enough excuse for a person to not attend court, she would not say that John could not attend.

 “I would say after his medical appointment — hopefully, it should finish by 9, 9:30 — we will appear in court.  I will so inform the court but I am not very happy that the charges are proceeding in a way as though Mr. John is culpable as the perpetrators who came into his yard. And certainly, the general public cannot accept the omission of the third culprit. He must be brought to the public,” the lawyer said.

9 replies on “Lawyer says chief magistrate shouldn’t hear charges related to Cornelius John”

  1. WTF, John takes Nelson and Morgan to courts for trespassing and maliciousness wounding him and end up in a different case opposite the state where a third perpetrator involved is kept secret. THIS IS THE END.

  2. Hashtag Prince says:

    What the ram-goat is this??? They assaulted, wounded and trespassed on the man’s domain and have the audacity to bring charges against him? This is venomous and vindictive —Their souls are clearly lying right by the doorposts of hell! A wicked and conniving set of people~!!!

  3. Hopefully the secret witness is the victim’s eye witness ,so they fraid to have the truth be told !
    Hope he is tough enough to come through when case / trial begin
    Victim did say ,he did tell the shooter ,he didn’t have to shoot the man so sounds as though DPP and co in a situation,maybe ,just saying .

  4. Orlando Alexander says:

    If the charges against John is brought before the court. The questions remains, 1) at what point did Morgan made the report? Before or after the shooting? And if she made z report/ complaints before, why then take matters into her own hands [as the allegation suggests…] If the complaints was made before the shooting them we need to question the action of the policing in SVG.
    2) If the wife made a complaint against her husband, was it done before or after the shooting? When was that report made? What action did the police took at the point of the complaint?
    3) under which law in St Vincent and the Grenadines states that a man is not free to speak whether it be gruesome or polite? Since when an expression out of anger is a crime under any laws?
    Don’t get me wrong I an not in agreement or condoning any ill words spoken, but who charged the officers who should uphold the laws of the land as an oat when they do likewise to innocent civilians,?

  5. Those who lie steal and cheat for the crumbs in life will never experience big bounties, why, because they can’t see beyond their own Petty desires and greed. Honesty still count for something in life and it is spiritual power.

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