Calypsonian Aziza Kebret Tsgaye Clarke has back her prized motorcar.
However, she can only remove the vehicle from the precincts of the Oistins Police Station on a wrecker to get it to her desired location.
Magistrate Elwood Watts handed down the order today after her attorneys Michael Lashley QC, and Dayna Taylor-Lavine again informed the judicial officer that police had completed “their necessary investigations and taken photographs” of the vehicle.
“I believe that in the circumstances the said vehicle should be returned to the accused. It doesn’t prejudice the prosecution’s case and it doesn’t prejudice my case . . . .Of course she can’t drive out the car, she has to get it registered and to get a wrecker,” Lashley submitted.
He went on to tell the Oistins Magistrate: “ I don’t think that any conditions are necessary in regards to the car . . . it is not subject to forfeiture . . . it is not the proceeds of crime.”
Station Sergeant Rudolph Burnett said he had no issues with the submission, which was previously made by the Queen’s Counsel, as he had already spoken with the investigator of the case who is also in-charge of the Oistins Police Station.
“The vehicle can be returned to the accused via wrecker,” the prosecutor stated.
It was at that time that Magistrate Watts made reference to the charge where it is alleged that Clarke assisted an offender.
“Technically that charge sheet before you is really exposing evidence,” Lashley stated, adding: “So that the public already have knowledge to the particulars. I have never seen that . . . only on an indictment,” Lashley stated.
Twenty-three-year-old Clarke, of Unit 4 Bonnets, Brittons Hill, St Michael, was arrested and formally charged in connection with a number of offences which occurred on March 21 at Graeme Hall, Christ Church.
She was not required to plea to the indictable charge of assisting the offender.
She was also charged with assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty; resisting arrest; and committing criminal damage. She pleaded not guilty to these three offences.
In addition, she was charged with the following traffic offences to which she also plead not guilty: Failing to stop at the sound of the police siren; failing to register a motor vehicle registration number MC92; and using a vehicle without having a policy of insurance.
In a twist, however, Clarke’s sureties had to take the oath again and post her $20,000 bail a second time as Magistrate Watts determined that the bail previously granted to her was null and void.
The judicial officer explained that when Clarke appeared before him earlier this month his court was not aware that bail had been granted at District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
“This is substantially an Oistins matter. The Oistins Magistrate was not sitting at District ‘A’ when bail was purported to have been granted
. . . . Our jurisdiction is governed by boundaries. ince the Magistrate would not have had island wide jurisdiction on that particular day his actions were really ultra vires in terms of granting bail in relation to the accused,” Magistrate Watts said.
Lashley, however, stated that there seemed to be some “issue in the interpretation of the practice order. There seems to be some mud around this” which he said needed to be cleared by the authorities.
“I am not going to endorse what is wrong. I know you are representing your client and you would not be seen as misdirecting anyone . . . .[But] I am not going to be found to be seeking to enforce at some future date what was an ultra vires order . . . not me,” Watts stated before granting the same bail amount to Clarke.
Lashley later told reporters: “The practice direction can not override the fundamental rights of the accused.”
Clarke will make her next appearance before Magistrate Watts on August 13.