History was created in the High Court recently when Senior Judge, Mr James Bovell Drakes graciously invited a veteran journalist from the local media to occupy a seat at a court table, reserved for senior counsel.
And on another day the same judge because of the acoustics and the low level of tone by witnesses, invited the prosecutors to move towards the empty senior counsel bench which provided them better hearing.
Earlier in the trial a marshal had removed a chair which the late acting Registrar Rasheed Mohamed had made available to veteran journalist George Barclay, a chair to provide him to sit on and take notes with comfort. Apart from the Court of Criminal appeal and the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Georgetown, there is no seating accommodation for the media at the courts.
But a female marshal removed the chair from the court and pointed out that the chair had prevented her from doing her work properly. Barclay took up the matter with the judge, who promised to investigate.
Another day Barclay was sitting on a bench in the courtroom, when in the presence of the jury and prosecutors he was invited to sit at the senior counsel’s bench. The journalist was able to write a story for publication, but unfortunately that was not used by the Chronicle.
Quite recently old court stories written by me and read by many including the President of Guyana David Granger and Minister Raphael Trotman, who are among others who spoke highly of my work. Mr Trotman had at one time invited me to have a book printed of the work.
Now the work that I present is being refused for one reason or another. I sincerely hope that persons who read my work in the Chronicle (old court stories) and would like to continue reading same would demand that the publishers publish that work.
George R Barclay