The coverage in certain sections of the press of the latest charge of “Misconduct in Public Office” filed against Dr. Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington which was called on Friday 29th June 2018, before Magistrate Leron Daly, unfortunately conveyed the false impression that the case was adjourned because of Dr. Ashni Singh’s absence and that by his absence he is disrespectful of the Court and the legal process.
I did not observe any reporter in the Court when the case was heard. Therefore, I have concluded that the inaccurate information disseminated was not acquired first hand.
The truth is the case was not adjourned because of Dr. Singh’s absence. It was adjourned because the Magistrate who ought to have conduct of the same, was absent. As a result, the matter was transferred to Magistrate Leron Daley for the purpose of an adjournment to a date when the Magistrate who has conduct of the matter would be present.
I explained very clearly to that learned Magistrate that Dr. Singh’s absence was based upon advice he received from Counsel and ought not to be interpreted, in any form or fashion, as an expression of disrespect for the Court. The advice tendered was based upon the existence of an Order granted by the Honourable Justice Franklin Holder which prohibited the prosecution of three identical charges relating to different transactions until the hearing and determination of a challenge to the legality of those charges which is pending before the Honourable Chief Justice (ag).
Counsel are of the considered view that the filing of the new charge is intended to subvert, defeat, frustrate and violate the spirit and intendment of Justice Holder’s order and that it is an abuse of process to so do. The same was emphatically articulated to the Magistrate by Counsel.