Magistrate closes summary hearings in murder case

| 17/09/2009

(CNS):  Courtroom Two was cleared yesterday (Wednesday 16 September) at the George Town Court House, when the three men facing charges for the murder of Omar Samuels appeared before Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale. Owing to what was described as a need to protect the identity of witnesses, the magistrate asked reporters to leave the court and ordered them not to report on the case. She also said that images of the three defendants Osbourne Douglas, Patrick McField and Brandon Leslie should not be shown in the media.

The magistrate issued on order pursuant to section 10 of the Criminal Law (2007 revision) prohibiting any publication of any photographs or likeneses of the defendants while proceedings are in summary court. She also said that all proceedings would be in camera (ie closed to the public) and nothing can be published which could lead to the identity of witnesses in the case.

Samuels received a single gun shot wound to his leg in the McField Lane area of George Town in the early hours of Sunday, 5 July. The 28 year old subsequently died from the wound which had penetrated his femoral artery.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think this just perpetuates the fear that Caymanians have against coming forward. I mean its a trick situation but to preclude the public from having important testimony ever enter the public domain seems controversial. Justice needs to be blind I agree but not deaf and dumb too. Transparency breeds trust and its easy to be a back seat driver when things like this happen and say the system is corrupt or biased or pejudiced. Overall, Cayman’s justice system is wiggity wack. Have fun reporting this one CNS.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How will they protect the Witness is what I want to know? When the defendants will know who the witness is at trial or before, this will put the witness at risk of being murder or threaten not to show up to court.

     
    But with all that is going on in Cayman neither the witness nor the defendants are protected.
  3. Anonymous says:

    And why should we not ‘protect’ defendants – defendants are innoncent until proven guilty in a court of law, not public opinion!

    • Pale Rider says:

      I put forth this very argument a few weeks ago in relation to "naming and shaming" persons who have been arrested and nearly got eaten alive…proceed with caution on this subject…you have been warned….

      "everybody wanna go to heaven..but nobody wanna go first…."

       

      • Plunkett says:

        Dear Pale Rider, it is quite simple – one must name and shame arrested non-Caymanians because these are obviously guilty ahead of trial, one must not name, or in any way shame arrested Caymanians because they have been caught up in a plot by Mother England or fitted up by a corrupt RCIPS when we all know that a non-Caymanian did it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Whatever they need to do to ensure a fair trial and protection of all involved (the accused, the witnesses, the judge, the lawyers).  If/once the defendents are found guilty then they will be found guilty fairly, ensuring that there’s no legitimate cause or reason behind a possible successful appeal down the road.

     

    If they did it, they should be convicted, fairly and justly, so they can’t say it wasn’t fair and just later on and then get released or get a mistrial.

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    The judge trying this case is the same judge whose home was shot up recently.

    It appears that she is just being careful, knowing that no one is safe in the Cayman Islands any more.

    I dont blame her either, because these days you cant even trust your mother especially if her husband is a member of the police force.

  6. m western says:

     They where shown on CITN a few weeks ago,so I think it’s kinda late now as everything in Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why are we protecting the defendants?

    • Anonymous says:

      We are not protecting the defendants, but the witnesses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone ever heard of the concept of innocent until proven guilty?

      Ah – I forgot – we live in Cayman where you are judged guilty even after you are proven innocent!

      • Anonymous says:

        How unnecessarily sarcastic and ignorant can some fo these posts get to be. Sad small minds.