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Adriana King, outside the Calliaqua Magistrate's Court on June 3, 2024.
Adriana King, outside the Calliaqua Magistrate’s Court on June 3, 2024.
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Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sejilla McDowall has given notice of her intention to appeal the decision of Magistrate John Ballah to stay the prosecution of teacher and activist Adriana King who was accused of trying to block Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves from entering Parliament on Aug. 5, 2021.

The notice on Wednesday, came two days after the St. Vincent and Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) wrote to the chief personnel officer (CPO) saying there were no criminal matters pending against King and called for her reinstatement “almost three years of wrongful prosecution, and hardships”.

On May 28, Ballah handed down the decision at the Calliaqua Magistrate’s Court to stay the prosecution of the educator, saying there clearly had been an inordinate delay in hearing the matter but it could not be said that there was an abuse of process by the DPP. 

“What can be said was there was a failure of the justice system to have a matter of this nature ventilated within a reasonable time and moreover in accordance with the Pre-Trial Timeline Guidelines,” Ballah said, referring to guidelines that set out the timeframe in which matters before the magistrate’s court must be disposed of.

In her notice filed on Wednesday, Mc Dowall said she would appeal the decision on the ground that Ballah erred in law by ordering a stay of court proceedings in the circumstances of the case where the defence had substantially contributed to the delay of the proceedings.

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She further said the delay was not so inordinate that the defendant could not have a fair trial; and, consequentially the magistrate court time limit guidelines were strictly applied.

King was represented by Kay Bacchus-Baptiste who made the application on her behalf. 

Ballah said that in coming to her decision, he had considered all the case law, the inherent jurisdiction of the court to stay proceedings and the learning that it must be used sparingly.

“… the court, being mindful of the Pre-Trial Timeline Guidelines of 2003 and the objective of the guidelines, will stay these proceedings,” John said.

“Any party in this matter who does not agree with the decision of the court to follow the Pre-Trial Timeline Guidelines has the right to appeal,” Ballah said.

King was accused of trying to block Gonsalves’ access to Parliament on a day when hundreds of protesters gathered in the city to protest as Parliament was about to pass a law giving the government authority to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for public sector workers.

The law was passed in Gonsalves’ absence as he was struck in the head and was flown to Barbados for medical attention.

Meanwhile, on June 10, also at the Calliaqua Magistrate’s Court, Ballah dismissed for lack of evidence a charge against King and her co-accused, Luzette King, Robert “Patches” King and John Mofford that on Feb. 23, 2023, at Kingstown, they each failed to comply with the instructions of Roycel Davis, Corporal of Police 471, when instructed to disperse from an unlawfully held public meeting which was held within 200 yards of the Court House building when the House of Assembly was sitting, contrary to Section 10(2)(a) of the Public Order Act.

On Monday, June 17, Oswald Robinson, president of the SVGTU, wrote to CPO Arlene Regisford-Sam informing her that there were no criminal charges against Adriana King, a graduate teacher, who was assigned to the St. Vincent Grammar School.

“Therefore, there is nothing hindering the reinstatement of Ms. King,” Robinson said, adding that the union was, through tis letter, “requesting the immediate reinstatement of Ms. King, to end what has been almost three years of wrongful prosecution, and hardships.

“Additionally, Ms. King is still on half salary, and this situation should be rectified with urgency, to avoid further persecution,” Robinson said.

“We are also aware of the fact that the total of her salaries lost must also be returned to her in full immediately,” he said.

7 replies on “DPP to appeal stay of prosecution of teacher accused of blocking PM’s access to Parliament ”

  1. What type music are you dancing to woman?.Fado?When you are at the top be careful.Always remember the ground is waiting.

  2. Just saying says:

    That woman must really believe that this government will always be in power. Just be careful when the shoe goes on your feet you may not have any wiggle room.

    Talk about misuse of an office.

    Bad people when bad things start happening to them they say is obeah forgetting it’s a thing called karma things you do lives after you.

    Those who are enabling you now may not know you then.

  3. DPP has a moral dilemma. The Officer charged with shooting Mr. John should have been re-assigned/ re absorbed in the Pubilic Service ( since the service appears not to fire officers). What about the case of the high powered gun that was confiscated and the ‘ wrong ‘ charge was laid. The right charge has never been found. The DPP Office is all over the place and now they want to act on principle? Justice must be down and appear to be done!!

  4. Keith Alexander says:

    This is to show you the cause of the Dpp,and the justice system of st Vincent and the Grenadines, the AG is at fault and bias with this mechanism of the law,it is time for the law society of st Vincent and the Grenadines members, the president to raise up and address this issue within the process of law,

  5. Take warning says:

    A day will come when alll the evil, wicked, heartless, spiteful mortals will have to stop their troubling . I don’t know how some people does sleep at nights.. ar yo dying days go tell, it’s only a matter of time. Wa na meet some ar yo go never pass ar yo and generations up to the third and fourth.

  6. Take warning says:

    Some ah dem go way fo study and dem come back more dotish than wen dem go, I strongly agree. . the hurtful thing in all of this is the dotish people don’t know that dem dotish.

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