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…lawyers file habeas corpus proceedings
Lawyers for District Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo have approached the High Court seeking an order for his immediate release from police custody.
Mingo was detained on Tuesday on allegations of forgery. Since then his lawyers have had difficulties accessing him and police have been very tight-lipped regarding their investigations. Two other staff members of GECOM were arrested in relation to the said probe.
Village Voice was told that Mingo’s lawyers, Roysdale Forde and Darren Wade filed habeas corpus proceeding challenging his detention. The matter is to be heard at 13:00hrs Thursday before Justice Brassington Reynolds. Waveney Mingo who swore to the affidavits said her husband’s fundamental rights are being breached with his continued detention.
The allegation against Mingo was brought against him and People’s National Reform (PNC) Chairperson, Volda Lawrence by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, for their alleged involvement in a forged Elections document with the intent to defraud the public, contrary to the criminal law Offences Act.
While Lawrence had attended Court on Monday, Mingo was yet to be served and was only located by the police Tuesday. Attorney Wade Tuesday evening had said “…we don’t know what is the police next move or what they’re doing; we don’t know the current state of affairs as it relates to our client, the police did not give us that respect that is usually given when attorneys visit their client at a police station.”
Apart from the police, Wade is disappointed with the actions of special prosecutor in the case, Glenn Hanoman who was present at the police station but refused to speak up about the police’s silence on the matter. According to Wade, Hanoman claimed that he was coincidentally at the police station for another matter and was otherwise engaged. Wade believes that Hanoman, being the special prosecutor in the case, should made an effort to address the situation. “He’s the special prosecutor in the case, so whether or not you’re here for another matter, if Mr. Mingo is there you must have some interest or somebody must come to you and say ‘your man is here’… he should have stepped in and allowed his brother, which is me, to be able to see the client. [He should have] said to the police ‘you cannot do this’, [you cannot] interview the suspect without his lawyer, this is inappropriate, it is wrong, it is unlawful’,” Wade argued.
In addition, Wade said that it is “disgraceful” that the charges against Mingo, which are private criminal charges, were brought before the Court with insufficient evidence and, the prosecutors, knowing this, have decided to rely on the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to take over the proceedings. He said that, under normal circumstances, if the DPP takes up the matter and there is insufficient evidence, the case is dismissed. However, Wade said that, under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration, the DPP is going the extra mile to pin Mingo and others to the alleged criminal activities. “Mr. Charles Ramson should have gotten his evidence before filing the charges. That is very unusual, the approach of the police is very unusual,” the attorney said. Mingo remains in custody with another individual said to be a registration officer.