MLA to answer charges in New Year

| 30/11/2010

(CNS): Following his second brief appearance in the dock, government backbencher Dwayne Seymour was bailed this morning and will return to the court in the New Year. Charged with assault and attempting to pervert the course of justice, the Bodden Town MLA’s case, along with that of his co-defendant, Joseph Hartwell Minzett, has been adjourned until 11 January. Steve McField, who is representing the two men, asked Acting Magistrate Valdis Foldats for the case to be adjourned until the magistrate with conduct of the matter would be able to deal with it, as the next stage involved pleas and elections. Seymour is expected to answer to the charges against him at this next appearance.

Seymour is expected to enter a plea regarding the two charges at his next appearance, and should he choose to defend the charges hewill have the option of having the case heard in the Grand Court in front of a jury.

Although few details of the more serious charge of perverting or obstructing the course of justice have yet emerged, all of the charges relate to an incident at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites on Seven Mile Beach in May of this year. Seymour and Minzett are accused of assaulting Florida based personal trainer Garrone Yap, who claims that, aside from being involved in the assault on him, Seymour had used his position as a politician to have Yap also arrested in connection with the incident. Yap was, however, released while both Minzett and Seymour were placed on police bail.

After the charges were brought against him, Seymour said in a televised address that he was both innocent of, and “surprised by", the charges and he did not understand how what he called the "baseless charges" were laid against him. The MLA, who has received the public support of the premier and UDP party leader McKeeva Bush, also denies knowing the people involved in the charges and has said he looks forward to clearing his name in court.

“I have no earthly idea where and how they (the charges) could have arisen over the last five and a half months. It seems that everyone knew I was being charged with some offence before I did,” he said in a prepared statement which he read on Cayman 27. “All I can say at this point is that I do not know the persons involved and the charges made. I am also completely unaware of the circumstances being described in the charges.”

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