From the Courts
April 21, 2004

DPP pleased with Assizes

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Colin Williams has expressed satisfaction with the completion of forty-four (44) of the fifty-five (55) cases listed for trial in the recent sitting of the criminal assizes.
“I am quite pleased that we were able to complete that many cases. Even when we completed twenty-odd cases in the last assizes (October-November) it was an improvement over previous assizes”, Williams told this reporter. {{more}}
The acting DPP commended presiding Justice Fredrick Bruce-Lyle for the manner in which he dealt with the sitting of the assizes that enabled the disposal of so many trials. He explained that on some occasions the trial Judge facilitated the hearing of several short matters in a day’s sitting. The DPP added that the list might have been completed had it not been for factors such as the one-week adjournment of the sitting to accommodate the Court of Appeal; the further loss of almost one week due to the Judge’s illness and the non-appearance of some accused persons.
The DPP said the sizeable February-March list was a test for what is to come. He explained that prior to the start of the February assizes, some sixty depositions were prepared but fifty-four trials, plus a retrial, were listed. And, the High Court Registry has already prepared some ninety-eight depositions in the run-up to the June assizes.
The DPP said that since the establishment of the Serious Offences Court, the problem of the backlog of preliminary inquiries has been alleviated. Of the eleven cases traversed to the June assizes, two were at the requests of defence lawyers and two because the accused were not found.