A Barbados Defence Force (BDF) soldier Wednesday testified that he attended an interview with Private Raheem Reeves during which they reported to a superior officer that they did not eat at the Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) base.
That evidence was given by Private Tori Quintyne who said both he and Reeves were interviewed after they were transferred to the BDF from the Coast Guard.
He was the second witness called by the defence when the court martial against Reeves continued today at the BDF’s St Ann’s Fort headquarters.
Reeves has pleaded not guilty to the charge that he left his duty station at St Ann’s Fort without reasonable excuse on March 14, 2021 while he was part of a COVID-19 Sanitization Unit.
Under examination from defense counsel Dr Lenda Blackman who was standing in for Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley, Private Quintyne said he and Reeves were interviewed by Lieutenant Coast Guard Sena Price after they were transferred.
He said during that interview they both informed Lieutenant Price that they did not eat food from the BDF after they were asked if they had any welfare issues.
However, under cross-examination from prosecutor Captain Neville Corbin, Private Quintyne disclosed that in most instances he would either have someone deliver his food to him or bring a snack to work.
When asked by the prosecutor if he would “sign out and go through the gate” without permission, Private Quintyne said he would not.
He told the court martial he would “ask a question” of the shift leader.
Private Quintyne said he had never asked to leave the BDF headquarters for food.
Earlier, a request by Dr Blackman for the matter to be adjourned until Monday was denied by Judge Advocate Principal Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney.
Dr Blackman had indicated to the court martial that one of its witnesses, Douglas Mayers, was not available until Friday.
She said Lashley had asked her to also inform the court martial he would be unavailable on Thursday as he had a hectic schedule and therefore, was requesting the matter to be adjourned until next week.
But the prosecutor rose to his feet and objected to the adjournment.
“I am at my wit’s end now. This is ridiculous. We are available on Saturday as well. If the defence is using Douglas Mayers as a witness then we can send a summons for him to appear on Friday. If he does not come on Friday we are cracking on…I don’t want to be here next year dealing with this matter,” Captain Corbin said.
The Judge Advocate then advised Dr Blackman that the court martial would continue on Friday.
She also advised both the prosecutor and the defence to come prepared to make their closing arguments as Mayers would be the final witness to appear.
The panel hearing the matter is comprised of president Lieutenant Commander John Mapp, Captain Natalie Haynes and Sub-Lieutenant Jamal Wiggins.