The case of incitement against Opposition Leader, Hon. Lennox Linton will return to Court on October 15, 2019, where Magistrate Asquith Riviere is expected to rule on the admissibility of statements made by one of the prosecutions witness.
The matter which reappeared before the Court on June 18, 2019, following its last adjournment encountered yet another stumbling block during the defense cross examination of the second witness, Laurel Abraham Corbette.
Trinidadian Senior Counsel, Israel Khan who is leading the prosecution’s case objected to certain questions posed by defense attorney Gildon Richards and requested that the witness be excused from the Courtroom in order to address certain matters with the Magistrate out of her hearing.
In a lengthy argument which followed, Richards told the Court that the prosecutions’ case was built on hearsay and asked that certain statements made by Corbette be struck out.
Richards expressed further concern stating that SC Khan was treating the case as political matter despite the Magistrate’s request from the beginning to “leave the politics out of this trial.”
Khan declared in open Court that the matter has the genesis of politics and you cannot suppress it.
He also stated that Linton was well within his democratic right to express his views as enshrined in Dominica’s constitutionn.
“So why are you prosecuting him then?” the Magistrate asked, to which Khan responded, “Your Honor because the defendant caused people to vandalize, riot and arson in people’s place by his comments.”
He further claimed that the event which happened was an attempt by Linton to overthrow the government of Dominica.
Magistrate Riviere again cautioned both attorneys stating, “I am not presiding over a political trial. This is an allegation of an alleged criminal offense. I am not interested in the political agenda and won’t be drawn into that. I am a sworn officer of the Court and won’t be drawn into political debate.”
The Magistrate then granted leave of the Court for both parties to file written submissions after which he will make his ruling.
The Court then gave the prosecution until July 2, 2019, to file and serve its submissions on the defense. The defense has until July 30, 2019, to respond, file and serve to the prosecution and the prosecution, until August 13, 2019 to file and serve its rebuttal.
Meantime, the Court has adjourned the case against former Prime Minister Edison James and former Senator of the United Workers Party (UWP), Thompson Fontaine sine die (with no appointed date for resumption).
Richards then moved for the bench warrant issued for Fontaine’s arrest be vacated however the Magistrate denied this request stating that Fontaine was properly served.