The historic case in which murder accused Larry Agard is claiming an infringement of his Constitutional rights looks set to start on Friday.
The civil motion, which is being heard by Justice Cicely Chase, was initially set to begin today.
However, Agard’s attorney-at-law Queen’s Counsel Larry Smith who is being assisted by Jamila Smith, indicated to the court that he wanted to introduce the evidence of two people – Ajamu Boardi and Andrew Pilgrim, Q.C., which he thought might be useful.
And while he admitted the request to have the two give evidence was late, he said considering the nature and seriousness of the matter that it would be better to hear evidence.
Smith said if the attorneys appearing on behalf of the Crown needed time to prepare their cross-examination he had no issue.
However, attorneys representing the Attorney General, Senior Crown Counsel Cherisse Whitehall-Small and Nicole Boyce, objected to the submission.
Whitehall-Small contended that Smith had had more than enough time to make submissions to the court.
“The general objection is that there is a way for things to be done…We want to have the matter done but it cannot be railroaded…” she said.
It is the second such Constitutional motion filed by Agard, who is charged with the 2006 murder of Marville John.
He is contending that pursuant to Section 18 (1) of the Constitution his rights to a fair trial within a reasonable time have been breached and that the delay in the matter is such that to have the trial at this stage would be prejudiced in mounting his defence and therefore unfair.
After a brief adjournment to review submissions from both sides, Justice Chase ruled that the court would allow the application for Boardi and Pilgrim to give testimony.
She said Boardi’s name had been mentioned by the claimant and by the Crown, who she said is the “attorney on record for the claimant”.
Justice Chase further contended that Pilgrim would guide the court as it could find no authority to guide it in relation to the jurisdiction of Barbados.
“The court wishes to hear from Mr Ajamu Boardi on the matter…The court has been informed that Mr Andrew Pilgrim is going to provide some guidance as to how long trials of this type will take. Therefore the court is also interested in hearing the evidence of Mr Andrew Pilgrim.”
She however, maintained that the process would be done as quickly as possible with the aim of starting the trial on Friday.
“The court regrets the number of procedural applications, but I guess you have to represent your clients and your parties, but this came to the court as an urgent application. The court wishes to get on with the business of justice in this case to decide it one way or another.
“The courts in Barbados are being criticized for delays. The courts come to work and we are trying to work and trying to bring parties to justice and I do not wish this to be said that this is a delay by the court. The court is doing everything it can to bring this matter of this constitutional motion to finality,” Justice Chase said.
Agard was granted bail in 2011 due to a similar application that was made before Justice Jacqueline Cornelius.
While she agreed his rights to a fair trial within a reasonable time had been breached and released him on bail, she said at the time that the case did not warrant dismissal.
He had been on remand from July 17, 2006 until August 4, 2011.
Agard’s murder trial had been set down for last November, but the accused indicated to Justice Randall Worrell that it was his intention to make the Constitutional motion.
It was decided that the matter would be heard in a civil jurisdiction rather than before the trial judge.
That murder trial has been postponed pending the outcome of these proceedings.
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