Lawyers for a Colombian woman who today denied assaulting an immigration officer have signalled their intention to file a cross charge in the matter even as the accused spends a further 28-days on remand at HMP Dodds.
Attorneys Michael Lashley, QC, and Dayna Taylor Lavine informed Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch in the St Matthias Magistrate’s Court of their plans. This was as they made a bail application prior to their client 25-year-old Maria Theresa Machina being remanded for the second time in three days.
In applying for bail after the prosecutor Station Sergeant Peter Barrow reaffirmed last Saturday’s objections, Machina’s lead attorney argued that she was a good candidate even as he made reference to “a piece of language” in the landmark Shanique Myrie and the State of Barbados case.
“ . . . . To make the point because in that case the question is whether the non-national was a threat to national interest? . . . . I am saying sir, that there is nothing to suggest that my client is a threat to national interest or is a threat to anybody . . . in the wider society,” Lashley stated.
However, Chief Magistrate Birch pointed out that in Myrie’s case she was a CARICOM national.
“As such Shanique Myrie . . . comes under the interpretation . . . of the Treaty of Chaguaramas. I am not altogether sure . . . the nexus of that case to a national from a Mercosur country,” Birch explained.
Lashley however clarified that he was only addressing “a piece of language” contained within the landmark case even as he went on to say that his client was not the type of individual that if granted bail would commit a further offence or be deemed a threat to national safety.
The attorney further submitted that his client was not a flight risk as she had a fixed place of abode as her mother, also a Colombian, was married to a Barbadian and lived in Barbados for the past 15 years in Christ Church.
Lashley also called for “fairness” for his client even as he admitted that she had overstayed her time in the country.
“But the fact is if my client overstayed her time there are still some rights sir that must be afforded to my client,” he said.
“Given the fact that [she has] regular bouts of illness . . . the prison at Dodds in St Philip is not the proper place for my client. There is a fixed place of abode that you can send my client to,” Lashley said adding that Machina was willing to submit to any bail conditions.
Despite further arguments from her attorney, Machina who listened to the arguments through an interpreter, and appeared in better spirits and health following last Saturday’s appearance where she had to be stretchered out of court, was remanded to the St Philip institution until December 11.
The accused Colombian will make her next appearance in the District ‘B’ Magistrate’s Court.