The transfer of these cases from a Parish Judge’s Jurisdiction to a more senior court is a significant development. The parish judge ruled that they have a case to answer. At Circuit is where serious crimes like murders are dealt with.
A preliminary inquiry is invariably held to determine if a prima facie case has been established. If the judge so rules then the case is transferred to circuit to be tried.
In jurisdictions like the USA a Grand Jury is convened and should an indictment be made, such is sealed, then the case proceeds for trial.
If there is no indictment then the case is dismissed for lack of evidence.
The fact that this instant case, known as the death squad case has been sent to circuit is a significant development indeed. Some of the accused have been offered bail or their existing bails/bonds have been extended until trial. At least one of the police officers has been remanded in custody. We wonder if this accused officer is seen as a flight risk.
INDECOM must be commended for their tenacity as this must have been a very difficult case to prosecute. Many found the allegations so unbelievable, that for the case to reach this point speaks volumes of the professionalism of this investigative body … as to unearth such evidence does not come by readily.
It is not immediately known if the prosecution will be ready to proceed with the case soon. Prosecuting the police can prove to be quite problematic.
It should be noted that the accused are considered innocent until proven otherwise. It Boggles the mind that officers sworn to uphold the law are being prosecuted and are prime suspects.
Many will await the verdicts with bated breaths.
One thing for sure, the undersigned will not hold his breath.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.