Lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste has described as “wicked” the prosecution’s decision to amend the protest-related charge against her client, Adrianna King.
King, a teacher and political activist, was charged that on Aug. 5 in Kingstown, she obstructed Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves while he was going to Parliament.
However, when the matter came up for trial at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Friday, the prosecution amended the charge to say that King attempted to obstruct the prime minister.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett granted an adjournment in the matter.
On Sunday, Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News:
“They cannot prove that she obstructed the prime minister and they would have lost miserably.”
She said that the prosecution, having realised this, amended the charge to say that King attempted to obstruct the prime minister.
“I mean, how vague can that be?” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
The lawyer told iWitness News that it is easier for the prosecution to make out a case that King attempted to obstruct the prime minister based on the evidence of a police officer.
“… because you just have to do an act in preparation. It doesn’t matter whether it was impossible to actually do it,” she said.
“This is so wicked to try this ‘attempt’ charge when they really said all along she obstructed him and the evidence from Buju was that he obstructed him,” she said, referring to the police officer on whose evidence the prosecution is reportedly relying.
“But, coming to the crunch, when they realise that they have to face me and they cannot, they would have not have been able to prove that charge.”
Bacchus-Baptiste said that the police officer had said he overheard King saying, “The prime minister not going in yah today”.
Bacchus-Baptiste said the officer interpreted this to mean that the prime minister was “not going into Parliament, and she (King) beckoned to the crowd to follow her.
“Which gate? The front gate. The front gate which was locked all along and it was clear that he wasn’t going in there. That is the evidence,” the lawyer said.
“I guess when he said it he forgot that the prime minister went in the side gate when they came up with a political charge against her.
“When they came to do the case, they recognised that they would have failed hopelessly and so they come up with this ‘attempt’ charge and I think it is totally just a political thing and they tried to see if they could nab her,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
Speaking on radio on Friday, King described the development as an “ambush”.
“But it is still rather foolish because how are you going to show that I attempted to block this man when every single Vincentian who was on that protest line could say I was nowhere near Ralph Gonsalves?
“That’s the question to be answered: why me?”
King said that the situation “just makes the entire police force look stupid.
“Because there they were, at least 110 of them, surrounding Ralph. How did I get in there? How did I get in there and nobody arrested me, nobody handcuffed me and dragged me to the police station because I was there trying to prevent him from going in? Nobody did that.”
King maintained her innocence.
“They have their case, they will have to try to prove what they are charging me of. I know they don’t have any proof of this, because I have never done it; I didn’t do it. As Shaggy would say, it wasn’t me,” she said.
King will be tried on March 30.