Court of Appeal to make decision on bail challenge
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
The Court of Appeal is to rule on Friday if the court can hear an application challenging a Supreme Court decision to deny bail.
The attorney representing Lenburgh McDonald, one of the co-accused in the Barrington ‘Bossy’ Burton murder case, appeared before the court today.
Bert Samuels argued that the appeals court has the jurisdiction to hear a bail application in light of the Civil Procedure Rules.
He contended that bail proceedings begin in the civil division of the Supreme Court pursuant to the Civil Procedure Rules and as such bail applications are civil in nature and can be taken to the Court of Appeal.
The attorney said McDonald has been in custody since April 2011 and stressed that the prosecution has not shown any good reason as to why he should not have been granted bail.
Samuels emphasised that his client has a constitutional right to bail.
Attorney-at-Law Robert Fletcher, who is representing Constable Dwayne Smart, made similar submissions.
Smart has been in custody since last September following the killing of 27-year-old Kay-Ann Lamont in Yallahs Square, St Thomas.
Fletcher argued that one of the routes available for an application for bail is through the exercise of the civil jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under the Civil Procedure Rules.
He added that the Court of the Appeal has the jurisdiction to hear such an appeal.
However, deputy director of public prosecutions Joan Barnett, who represented the Crown, argued that bail application is criminal in nature so there is no right of appeal to the appeals court.
Miss Barnett said there is no civil route to the Court of Appeal.
She further contended that the only time that can happen is when a person has been convicted and an appeal in pending.
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