Linden Primo, the man accused of firing off a gun during the People’s National Congress Reform’s 18th Biennial Congress, had the charge against him dismissed today due to the continued absence of his accuser.
Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond cleared Primo of a threatening behaviour charge and upheld a no-case submission made by the defence at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
The allegation against Primo, 54, of 41 Farm Village, Mahaicony, was that on July 27, he used threatening behaviour to Alieshaw Barker, thereby resulting in a breach of the peace.
It was the prosecution’s case that Barker, who had gone to Congress Place in Sophia for the Biennial Congress, went to the auditorium door to see a staff member and Primo, who was standing about seven feet away, removed a gun from his pants’ waist and pointed it in her direction. He then allegedly discharged a round. A report was made to the police and Primo, who police said is a security guard employed at a mining company, was later nabbed while he was an outgoing passenger at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri on July 30.
Barker had not attended court since the first hearing on July 31.
And when the matter was called again for the fifth time today for continuation of the trial, she was again a no-show.
Detective Corporal Hurbert Henry was the lone witness who took the stand. After the call for Barker was sounded three times, there was no response.
It was at this point that Prosecutor Jomo Nichols apologised to the court for the witnesses’ repeated absence but explained that he could not say why she kept absenting herself from every hearing.
The prosecutor explained that he personally made several calls to the phone number provided by Barker but to no avail. He said he also prepared summons which were served on the woman but yet she failed to respond or attend court.
Nichols said that from the initial hearing Barker had always been aware of subsequent court dates but he could not say why she was not attending court.
Meanwhile, as regards another witness, Keisha Sampson, who was also absent from today’s hearing, Nichols said that he was unable to make contact with her but was later informed that at the time of the hearing she was “all the way in Berbice.”
It was at this point that defence attorney Patrice Henry made a no-case submission.
He argued that the prosecution had failed to establish, even at a prima facie level, a case against his client and contended that there was no case for his client to answer and further that he should not be called upon to lead a defense.
Henry submitted that the prosecution should be called upon to close its case, while challenging it to show why it should not be called upon to so do.
The court then asked the prosecution to show cause as to why it should not be called upon to close its case, prompting Nichols to again apologise for the absence of the witnesses. The court ordered the prosecution to close its case and Nichols then said the prosecution stands by its evidence.
Magistrate Chandan-Edmond subsequently announced that in light of the testimony of the witnesses and the repeated absence of the complainant, the case was being dismissed. “There is no case for you to answer,” she told Primo.
The prosecution had informed the court at the beginning of the trial that it would have been calling four witnesses, including Barker and Sampson. The other two persons were police witnesses Michael Kingston and Henry.
Kingston testified at the start of the trial on August 6 and Henry today. Barker and Sampson were the remaining witnesses.