Opposition activists Adriana King and Kenson King were, on Sunday, each slapped with four charges, after two days of being detained by police.
Lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News that her clients were each charged that on July 29, at Kingstown, they did organise or were concerned with organising a public procession, without notifying the Commissioner of Police at least 24 hours prior.
Another count of the same charge was brought against the duo, allegedly committed in Kingstown on Aug. 5.
The two were also each charged that on the same dates — July 29 and Aug. 5 — in Kingstown, they did knowingly take part in a public procession or meeting, in contravention of the Section 5(1) and Section 5(2) of the Public Order Act.
Bacchus-Baptiste described the charges as “vindictive” and “without relevance”.
“First of all, it was a protest, so that the Public Order Act has no application,” she told iWitness News.
“But, in any event, they (the police) were notified. They obviously were notified and came very prepared and they, themselves, directed the protesters where to go. They put out barricades and told them to go there.
“They controlled the entire protest. They marched around town with them. If they went around town five times, the police went with them five times. So how can they come now and bring these charges? It makes no sense,” the lawyer told iWitness News.
She said that there was an abuse of process as it relates to Kenson, a 34-year-old Park Hill resident.
Bacchus-Baptiste said that he was charged after the expiration of the 48 hours in which police could legally detain someone without charge.
The charges against Adrianna, 42, of Belmont, were brought when the 48 hours was about to expire, Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News.
The duo was, up to 3 p.m., still in police custody as Bacchus-Baptiste was awaiting a reply to her request for station bail for them.
The are expected to appear before the Kingstown magistrate on Monday to answer to the charges.
The two opposition activists were arrested, on Friday, as part of an “incitement” investigation, the lawyer told iWitness News then.
Adriana, a teacher, was arrested at her home sometime after 2 p.m., while Kenson, a suspended prisons officer, was arrested earlier while commuting.
Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News, on Saturday, that after endless attempts to reach the police high command about the detention of her clients, she was told that they had been arrested because of the protests and that the police needed an interview with them.
“They were very incoherent as to the exact nature of the inquiry,” Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News on Saturday.
She said that she and counsel Ronnia Durham-Balcombe attended the interview and were later joined by counsel Israel Bruce — who is also an opposition senator.
“Despite the fact that they were told that they were arrested for inciting, no such offence was put to them. All questions related to protests and processions and permissions. Of course they remained mute, as advised,” Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News on Saturday.
She said that after the interviews, the police said that they would confer and get back to the legal team.
Adriana and Kenson are strong opponents of the Ralph Gonsalves’ administration.
They each use Facebook Live to express their views about the government and its policies.
Last year, Kenson was suspended from duty pending the outcome of a trial on a charge that on June 27, 2020, at Her Majesty’s Prisons, in Kingstown, he unlawfully and maliciously wounded prisoner Dorian Mapp, 23, of Victoria Village.
He was released on EC$2,000 bail with one surety and is awaiting his trial.
Last year, Adriana failed in her bid to become the main opposition New Democratic Party’s candidate for East St. George.
Kenson and Adriana, who are said to be cousins, were among some 11 alleged opposition supporters whose homes police raided on Aug. 7, two days after the prime minister was injured while walking among protesters on his way back to Parliament.
The police went to the homes of some 11 persons, carrying warrants authorising searches for unlicensed firearms and ammunition, documents and electronic devices.