Television Jamaica has reported tonight May 7, that lawyers for murder accused Mr. Paul Coote is of the view he could be jeopardized due to widespread pretrial publicity and in particular an interview aired in the media when he was in the holding area in police custody.
You will recall that Mr. Paul Coote is the suspect in the murder of his girlfriend and two girl children ages 7 & 4 in Green Island, Hanover Ja. W.I.. His girlfriend was pregnant at the time of the alleged machete attack. Mr. Cooate was allegedly seen running away from the scene with allegedly a machete in hand. These are the facts as reported.
You will recall that we posted a perspective entitled “Of Confession, Probity and Insanity” we had brought to the attention that we were very concerned that pretrial publicity and to what extent this could jeopardize Mr. Paul Coote from getting a fair trial.
It was CVM TV in primetime, that carried the original video interview. In an atmosphere of openness and fairness we reached out to CVM to get a reaction from their top management as to what could have motivated them to have aired that interview with Mr. Paul Coote and questioned whether it was only from a ratings standpoint or what. Today, some 48 hours later we are yet to get a response as the VP was said to be out of office. We are still trying to get a response from CVM.
Our only concern is …
God forbid if we should boast, however, we are in fact pleased that as a relatively small media located in Canada and elsewhere we have been able to make a difference. I really think this small media entity Vision Newspaper, when compared with the Globe and Mail the Toronto Star or even locally the Gleaner or any other entity … for us to take a principled position makes me feel very good and feel like at least we look at what is right. They say in Jamaica you little but you “tallawah” and we we’re making our presence felt. Important to me in this media landscape is the impact to Democracy of any country the media can bring to bear This is. the legal protection and protection of human rights of our citizens. We are very concerned that we’re able to make a change in a positive direction irrespective of our size. Then this makes us very very pleased. We are not doing this or taking this position because we want people to look on us and to pay attention to us . We’re not looking for attention, we’re not looking for any form of recognition, but we’re concerned about the principles of integrity probity, openness, transparency, and fairness. Even the rights of the accused needs to be protected and we as media persons should be there for the defenseless and the voice for the voiceless … and never turn away or turn our backs on those who are powerless.
What is your perspective? This is ours.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper.