(Trinidad Express) After more than four years, September 14 was the date given yesterday in court for the conclusion of the assault trial against soca star Machel Montano and three other entertainers.
The State closed its case on April 2, but Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor’s decision had been delayed due to another round of legal arguments.
On that occasion, Montano’s attorney, Dana Seetahal SC, had applied to the court to respond to State prosecutor George Busby’s closing address, stating there were several inaccuracies in his submissions.
Busby, however, argued that according to law, Seetahal was not allowed to respond to his closing address as the State always had the final say in any matter before the court.
When the matter came up for hearing in the Port of Spain Seventh Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Baboolal-Gafoor ruled in favour of the prosecution, denying Seetahal the opportunity to respond to Busby’s address before adjourning the matter.
Montano, along with the son of the late Lord Kitchener, Kernel Roberts, Rodney “Benjai” LeBlanc and Joel “Zan” Feveck are all facing assault charges stemming from a fracas outside the Zen nightclub on Keate Street, Port of Spain, in April of 2007.
In June of that year, the four appeared before Magistrate Lianne Lee-Kim on the charges and each was granted bail in the sum of $50,000.
They were accused of assaulting Brandis Browne, Russell Pollonais, Janelle Lee-Chee and Gerard Borwin outside the club on April 26.
Montano faces an additional charge of using obscene language.
Montano, who gave ten days of evidence, denied the charges, saying he was the one being targeted by the group and they had verbally attacked him.
Roberts also testified while Feveck and LeBlanc exercised their right to not give evidence.