Teacher’s acquittal over fraction of ganja stands

| 26/08/2010

(CNS): An appeal by the Attorney General’s Office regarding a drawn out case involving a school teacher who lost his job over 0.004 ounces of ganja found on him at the airport has failed. Marius Voiculescu, who was a computer teacher at George Town and John A Cumber primary schools, was convicted in Summary Court in December 2008 of possession of ganja. In June 2010, after a journey through the Grand Court, the Cayman Islands appeal court and back to the Grand Court again, Justice Alex Henderson acquitted Voiculescu of the conviction. The Court of Appeal said in their ruling, delivered on Wednesday, that Henderson had not made an error in law and they upheld his acquittal and denied the AG’s appeal.

This is the second time the case has come before the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. The first time was in the wake of a Voiculescu’s appeal to the Grand Court after his conviction. At that first appeal, Justice Henderson had ordered a retrial hearing at which the crown offered no evidence, so Henderson acquitted Voiculescu. Attorney General Samuel Bulgin then appealed that decision to the CICA, which allowed the appeal on the basis of an error in law and sent it back to the Grand Court.
 
Following a second appeal before Justice Henderson, the former teacher was acquitted again and once again the AG appealed. However, on Wednesday morning the CICA found that this time the judge had not erred and he had correctly revealed his reasons for allowing Voiculescu’s appeal and the subsequent acquittal as a result of the crown being unable to offer any evidence for a second time.
 
The argument in the case boiled down to the question of the defendant’s knowledge of the ganja. On 28 April 2008 the defendant was found in possession of a half burnt spliff in the back of a cigarette packet.  Voiculescu denied it was his and denied any knowledge of the burned spliff on the grounds that he had found the cigarette packet in the car-park at his condo with cigarettes inside and picked them up.
 
The chief magistrate convicted him despite the fact that tests he had taken for marijuana were negative and tests he financed himself on the DNA on the spliff proved it was not his, claiming he must have been aware of the spliff because of the smell, a point Voiculescu disputed.
   
Although the airport security guard who gave evidence had held the packet up to his nose and said there was a strong smell, Voiculescu had pointed out he had never held the packet to his nose. During the summary trial the teacher had said: “I didn’t smell anything at all. Everybody has a different sense of smell I didn’t bring it up to my nose like he did.”
 
At the time the chief magistrate had stated that she did not believe the box was always at arms length from Voiculescu’s nose and had convicted him because she felt he had to have been able to smell it. Henderson, however, had pointed out on appeal that the inferences on this drawn by the magistrate were not supported by the evidence — a point the appeal court judges agreed with.
 
In the judgement, President of the CICA, Sir John Chadwick, pointed out that the chief magistrate was entitled to find that the smell emanating from the box had alerted the security guard. “The smell was enough to alert the security guard and provoke him to search the cigarette packet; but the evidence went no further than that. The evidence did not enable her to find as a fact that the smell was ‘strong’ in some objective or measurable sense; it did not enable her to find as a fact that it was so strong Mr Voiculescu must have been aware of it.”
 
The Court of Appeal found that the judge had approached the appeal correctly on the basis that issues of fact were at large and he took account of four factors.
 
Firstly, if it were assumed that Voiculescu knew about the spliff he must have forgotten about it. The judge considered it was inexplicable that someone who was not a ganja smoker should have knowingly attempted to smuggle a half smoked spliff from Grand Cayman to the USA.
 
Secondly, there was nothing to suggest that if Voiculescu had recognised the smell he would have neglected to discard it and then forgotten about it by thetime he reached the airport. Thirdly, the judge considered the strong evidence of his good character. And lastly, he did not find it implausible, as the magistrate had, that a smoker would find and keep cigarettes discarded in a parking lot.
 
When allowing Voiculescu’s appeal Henderson summarised: “In the light of the proven absence of any motive and the fact that the presence of the spliff in the package was not obvious and taking account of the evidence of good character … I find I am not sure that the defendant had the requisite knowledge of the presence of the spliff.”
 
As a result the appeal court president found that Henderson was bound to allow the appeal and for that reason they dismissed the AG’s appeal.
 
Voiculescu, who had been in Cayman for over seven years when he was arrested, returned to his native Canada after the conviction.
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  1. anonymous says:

    I am happy about the man’s victory in the courts.

    As far as the continued chase on the ranch looking for people smoking l stick of weed, my money could be better spent chasing someone smoking cigarettes that clearly labeled "may cause cancer? I agree we do need a Freedom School in each district to teach these young people that have fallen through the cracks, educate them and consequently they too will get a GED and feel some self worth once again.  Its an excellent Idea and the premier should follow up with it along with Mr. Anglin. Pastor Al and the MInisters Association need to sponsor one as well.

    Its time to move up and change the criminal face of our society!

    Good article. Kudos

     

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am so pleased that Marius has finally had justice served – to ignore the indisputable DNA evidence in this case and then to also go to appeal numerous times is an appalling miscarriage of justice. I just hope that Marius has the strength and funding to continue to pursue this and claim damages. Cayman this is an embarrassment to us all.

    • Brad Green says:

      As an Architect working on Grand Cayman, I knew Marius as a friendly neighbor and fellow Canadian.  He explained to me that he found a pack of cigarettes that had a 10 dollar bill folded and tucked into the cellophane wrapper. He picked it up (who wouldn’t??) and put it into his pocket as he rushed across the airport parking lot to catch a plane.  He had no idea that a partially smoked refer was hidden inside.  As bizarre as this story sounded I would never-ever doubt his word on this and am so very pleased to hear that he has been acquitted. 

      Brad Green

  3. Anonymous says:

    As odd as this may sound, I am glad if something like this had to take place at the AGs office they took on someone of Mr Voiculescu’s character.  In the years Marius resided and worked in Cayman he set a fine example to the kids as a teacher and a coach.  It must have been very disappointing to those kids to learn their teacher had been arrested for possession.  Parents must have had serious concerns.  Marius could have moved on, but his integrity is such that he stood up for what is right.  In his actions his parting lesson to his students was to persist in what you believe. 

    Bravo Mr V.  May Cayman be able to recruit another teacher of your skills and dedication to take your place.  It is truly needed. A teacher like you is a prize to the island. 

    I cannot say the same for the attorneys at the AGs office.

    • mariusvoiculescu says:

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and nice words.  My friend, Dennie Warren Jr., once said to me, "The only rights you’re given, are the ones that you fight for".  He is absolutely correct.  For me it was easy – I was innocent.  I had no choice but to fight for for my rights.  

  4. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Re: “The chief magistrate convicted him despite the fact that tests he had taken for marijuana were negative and tests he financed himself on the DNA on the spliff proved it was not his…”

    I held in my hand the DNA test report referenced in the article, and read it carefully and completely.  It said neither of the two DNA’s found on the spliff could possibly match Mr. Voiculescu’s DNA.  Therefore, the AG should issue a written public apology to Mr. Voiculescu, because anything less would suggest a culture of injustice.

    • Slowpoke says:

      Although I generally have a high regard for the CM, this, as proven by the end result, was a serious error in judgment.  

      The obsession with this insane "war on drugs", resulted in the dismissal of actual, factual, scientific evidence such a negative drug test and DNA evidence.

      This is what happens when we let lawyers and politicians "do science". 

  5. Sorry to this good teacher says:

    I feel very sorry for Mr V over this whole pointless saga. He wont get an official apology or explanation of course, but that’s another story.

    Unfortunately, it seems clear that there are no management checks & balances in place inside the CPS/Legal Dept. From this and countless similar cases that get to court it is obvious to us joe public that;

    1) no consideration is given in the CPS decision making process to cost to the public purse (even now, when it’s a monthly struggle to pay the civil service!). $1/4 million on this case says it all.

    2) no consideration is given as to whether a prosecution is in the public interest,

    3) no form of risk assesment is undertaken case by case ie likelihood of losing the case versus seriousness of the alleged offence. Is a second opinion on the evidence (or lack of it) too much to ask beforedeciding to prosecute almost every case?

    4) there is a complete lack of accountability for flawed decison making. (how many of your qualified lawyer staff are ever fired, reprimanded or contracts not renewed? Err, none!)

    The AG shoulders the ultimate responsibility for his staff’s actions so why doesn’t he hold those below him to account for making him and his Department a laughing stock everytime we have these mickey mouse prosecutions? Mr Attorny General, it is unfortunately far too late for Mr V in this particular case, but why do you refuse to insist on the above 4 common sense steps? To do so would improve the efficiency of the CPS, please the Police Commissioner no end, stop wasting court time, and give you a bit more respect from the public. Like the Immigration Dept, the CPS is clearly badly managed, and to me that’s an understatement.

     

     

     

     

  6. mariusvoiculescu says:

    In response to Right ya so…  Thank you for your kind apology, but it is entirely unnecessary.  The people of the Cayman Islands treated my family with complete respect for over seven years.  They welcomed us into their communities and homes with open arms.  This tragic episode had nothing to do with the average, common Caymanian citizen who, I believe, can just as easily fall victim, as I have.

    In my case, the Grand Court and Court of Appeal did their job to protect my rights and ensure that justice prevailed in the end.  Thank you again for your kind words.  Incidentally, the prosecutor who prosecuted my case is not Caymanian… 

    mv

  7. Right ya so says:

    What utter rot! 

    Don’t we have better things to do with our money than persecute this poor man who was found with something that has even less potency than a beer and, as was proven via dna, wasn’t  even his!

    XXXXX

    On behalf of my fellow Caymanians I apologise to this gentleman and his family.

    • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

      This is a victory for Mr. Marius and I hope that this never happens to anyone else again. But because of the way our laws are written whether you are a scumbag. creme of the crop of our society, or everything in between one thing is certain and that is; everyone is at risk for destruction of career, character, and opportunity because of the poorly written laws that we have on our books. This is dangerous and devastating to our society and something must be done and soon.

      For years I have observed many good young men and women that have been utterly destroyed because of one stick of ganga! How stupid, what about the person who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk beyond the alcohol limit? We have been deceived and misled. From time to time some of our finest young people in our society have had their life long careers taken away from them because they were caught or seen smoking a stick of ganga! while others are smoking cigarettes drinking beer and alcohol over the limit driving around like they own the town, and are treated different. I have one question for the hypocrites, "He that heard from the most high that these are different category of sins, will you cast the first stone?"!

      Ganja is also used as a "Tea" to help the treatment of Asthma! I understand it is also used to treat certain forms of cancer. so it is obvious that this drug is being misused. Any enlightened statesman or stateswoman would agree that ganja is a natural plant and the use of it must be government controlled. If not then the drug traffic will continue and we will have our young people sacrificing their lives and their future because of this sensational plant that god put on this green earth for the purpose of health care. Not recreation.

      Lets stop the hypocrasy and speak the truth out of integrity.These people are not dealers they are users, there’s a difference.

      It is a custom that Cigarette smokers are rehabilitated in order to break this unhealthy habit the same as alcohol and drug users. So where did the self righteous get the idea from that someone who smokes one stick of ganja is worse or a grater sinner or offender than the person who smokes a cigarette and drinks a beer?!

      This preconceived general opinion in most societies in the western world is based on ganja being identified as an illegal substance or vegetable matter. ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE DESTRUCTIVE including the beer and the cigarettes and hard liquor as well, but the manner in which the laws are written, enforced and executed is totally unfair. As it stands right now, the old folks are drinking hard liquor and the young folks are smoking weed, or sense as they call it. Both of these demographics are out of control and do not have their priorities in place if they think they need these indulgences to provide recreation or entertainment. The young person sits in jail for smoking a joint, while his father is a drunkard, suffering no legal penalties from the justice system! This is wrong!

      The cigarettes, and the beer are just as detrimental to our health as the one stick of ganja. Drunken driving has put more people into their graves than one stick of ganja, so at some point we have to get this right and make the necessary changes in the penalty surrounding this one stick of ganja issue.

      I suggest that the RCIP, the Prosecution and the Courts review this use their discretion when presented with these cases because they can be very tricky and while the act is somewhat soft, the consequences and penalties are far too harsh. In some cases a fine is appropriate for one stick of ganja.If the person is a cronic ganja user then that is a different matter, he or she then needs to enter rehab if they are an addict. That’s the same rehab where those that abuse prescription drugs are placed. So what’s the difference? NONE

      It would help if the Ministers Association had some input in the decision making as far as what penalty should be imposed for one stupid stick of ganja. Now a little yeast rises the whole lump of bread, and do not get me wrong. I am a Christian believer and I am against the ganja smoking, the beer drinking and the cigarette smoking, so don’t take this comment out of context and use it it as a license to go wild! We need more of a common sense approach . Since I happen to be a fair person In my opinion discretion is not something that is found in most institutions and it is especially needed in the courts systems of the Cayman Islands as the laws are very conflicting at times and badly written, causing more harm to our young people than necessary. We need to provide more education and opportunities for our young people, not build more prisons for them. It is because they are oppressed and feel hopeless why they are seeking refuge in a stick of ganja and other harmful habit forming recreation and entertaining activities. Its time the churches start some reading and literacy programs for these young people. Institute some GED programs so that those that did not make graduation in the secular public or private schools have an opportunity to begin to rebuild and improve their lives reward them with a diploma.Give them some self worth. Make them feel they are headed somewhere in life. Offer hope to these young ones and stop throwing them in prison. When the churches and the parents have done all that they can to help these youngsters, we can only see good results in our society.

      I suggest that some of you rich organizations begin to think seriously about starting a ‘FREEDOM SCHOOL" in the Cayman Islands. The freedom schools are for anyone who has been rejected and hit rock bottom, and when all doors have been closed to these that have suffered because of their own or by rejection from society, the doors of freedom school is open to them. Isn’t that great?

      The first Freedom Schools were started in the United States l964 This was because of the civil rights issues facing minorities at the time. The Cayman Islands has been faced with an upsurge in crime and we are losing our young people to drugs and a the future looks far too bleak for too many of our young people.

      Because of the rise in Crime and too many youngpeople falling in through the cracks I am forced to say that it is now time for the Cayman Islands Education systems to start a Freedom School for our young people. The schools can be a part of Summer School, as well as a project of the “No child Left Behind", with the goal in mind for Caymanian Youths to become active citizens and agents of social change. Usually there are 60 students at each Freedom School.The Cayman Islands should have a Freedom School in each district or centralized needs based on demographics. There are too many buildings locked up and could be put to good use.Our employment rate is far too high for a small nation such as ours and many students in need of this educational service could benefit from it.

      The curriculum of the summer Freedom Schools was a series of documents that, taken together, offer the best example of a progressive, experiential curriculum that emphasized student-centered teaching and learning-by-doing. I emphasize we don’t just need a Freedom Summer school we need a Freedom School all year round. The Curriculum should include Cayman’s History, Math, English, Geography, Bible knowledge, Science Life ‘Skills etc. and other courses as deemed necessary to educate the students. I believe believe a Freedom school tailored according to our Caymanian Historical and present day culture would be of a great benefit to our society. Perhaps Mr. Roy Bodden may want to look into this further.
       

  8. Rick Berns says:

    I do not think the AG had anything to do with these decisions, except for the fact that the Legal Department (run by the SG) reports to him and he is ultimately responsible for it. He would not have read this case. The fact that he is named in the appeal is a matter of procedure. He is the government’s chief law enforcer, so his office is named in the appeal. That’s all. The AG is accountable for his responsibility but he would not be the only Head of Department to have crazy people working for him. With Cayman politics as it is, I doubt if he can do much about them. 

     

    Having said that, there does appear to be many unreported issues buried in this case and one cannot escape the incompetence of the decision makers. It just does not pass the smell test. Pun intended. This gentleman should be compensated.

     

    Rick

    • Rorschach says:

      Sorry, but that excuse won’t fly…he is as responsible for what happens under his command as the Commissioner is for anything which one of his officers does or to put it in perspective…he is the Captain of the ship…makes no difference if the helmsman runs it aground, ultimately, HE and HE ALONE bears the responsibility for ANYTHING that happens under  his command…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well done not to the following persons;

    Att Gen – please explain Mr Bulgin why pursuing this case at all, was in the public interest? Please explain why I assume you personally signed off a decision to appeal the decision twice, when Justice Quinn had made it very clear the Crown had no case? This is our public money you are squandering and we don’t appreciate costly basic misjudgements. Unless you can justify your actions here, we are left to wonder if you are not simply stuck in the dark ages lacking in proportionate common sense. Did you not wonder why Mourant’s legal team offered to take this case on pro bono? Well done Mourant.

    CPS – Mr Masters, please explain why you surely recommended to the AG he pursue this case to the bitter end, even long after the poor guy had been fired & hounded out of the country? XXXXX Does Cayman Judicial live in the real world? Persisting with cases like this and other similarly ridiculous ones about pets suggests some people at the top are not fit for purpose.

    XXXXX

  10. San Andreas says:

    And presumably now the claim for compensation can begin in earnest. . .

    • Anonymous says:

      Compensation for what? Do you think that every trial that ends in acquittal means that there is some civil claim for the defendant? He was not arrested illegally.

      • anonymous says:

        Duh – you obviously missed the part that talked about him being wrongfully convicted, resulting in his termination and eventual expulsion.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, I didn’t miss it. What you fail to understand is that every successful appeal by a defendant means that the court made an error at first instance. Do you seriously think we should compensate every defendant who succeeds on appeal?  

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who in their right mind would have continued the prosecution of this in light of the minuscule quantity and the overwhelming evidence that Marius was not a ganga user???

    Thank God the judge allowed justice to prevail!

    That this case brought ruin to a manof sterling reputation, and is a horrific waste of precious resources, is certainly bad enough. The saddest thing about this affair is that it severely erodes confidence in and respect for law enforcement and the AG’s office. How can one possibly hold even a whit of respect for a system so rife with such foolery?

    Mr. Attorney General: What in God’s name were you thinking in allowing this to continue?

    It is little wonder that law enforcement has insufficient resources to curb serious crime in this country. They are too busy wasting time with trivialities!

  12. Rorschach says:

    To put this into perspective that the everybody can understand…an average sized ALMOND weighs 1 gram…now cut that into 4 pieces and take one piece..and you have the equivelent of the amount that this man was found with..

     

     Things that make ya go…hmmmmmmm….

    • Beachboi says:

      Rorschach sorry but that is not correct.  One ounce is 28.35 grams.  If Mr. V was in possession of .004 ounces that would be about one tenth of one gram so try splitting that almond in ten pieces.  Now that just goes to show how ridiculous this whole thing was.  I hope I got this math right!!

      • Rorschach says:

        Beachboi,

         I didn’t actually do it by ounces…I was going off of one of the posters who stated that the amount was .25 grams…I was trying to point out the relativity of the amount, but if it is fact even smaller than I thought, then that just takes it from the realm of the sublime to the ridiculous..Thanks for the math lesson…

        • anonymous says:

          gentlemen, let’s not forget that the 0.004 oz also included tobacco…  things that truly make you go hmmmmh…

  13. Anonymous says:

    I honestly think that the AG should offer his resignation over this.  How much did this prosecution (including the appeals) cost? How much did the defence have to spend? How much valuable court time did it take up? Were there not other matters to be persued?

    All for 0.004 ounce of a soft drug? Where was it found? under his fingernail?

    What an embarassmnet to the Cayman prosecutors.  the next thing you know they’ll be back with another "stolen/borrowed dog" case!

    • Anonymous says:

      Now we possibly have another reason why the Constitution was not upheld – too busy!

    • anonymous says:

      If I’m not mistaken, the  0.004 oz included tobacco.

    • I miss Marius says:

       I have followed this from the first day.  The all inclusive cost is in the area of 1/4 of a million dollars between both parties and the employer who had to pay a salary pending a verdict.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow … the Crown shines yet again! When are we going to hold this department liable for this incompetence?

    Dog theft … spliff cases … landlord/tenant issues … no evidence … I see a strong pattern emerging!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I am outraged that my tax money is being spent on such frivolous matters.  This case should clearly have never have been pursued.  How much more evidence did the Crown need to see that this poor man was not guilty?  My taxes are going up almost daily so that the prosecutors can play games with innocent people’s lives, while true criminals are left to walk the street.  Shame, shame, shame!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr. V was an outstanding teacher and person, and this is how they treated him.  He did not deserve this given the facts of the case.  Mr. V, you are truly missed.

  17. Me says:

    Justice served… pity all that money wasted, this should never have gone to court 1 time, never mind 5 times.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Mr V – this whole matter and the way it was handled was a disgrace. The children of Cayman lost a dedicated and committed teacher and a man that was making a positive difference in our community.

    The people running the legal dept. are a joke – why was all this money wasted and a good mans life disrupted when any man or child on the street could see the crowns case was without merrit and to pursue it was ridiculous and pathetic.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It seems to me that the prosecution chases the innocent but let the guilty run free.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Apart from the Crown’s stunning stupidity in this matter what is very clear is that someone in authority had a personal grievance against the defendant – why on earth waste this much time and resources on such a trivial matter.  What escapes the Legal dept is that incidences such as these has turned the department into the island’s prime comedy spot – could we persuade them toair their antics on TV? The pure bliss of being so beyond stupid that one is entirely incapable of finding one’s own backside with both hands!

  21. I miss Marius says:

     Over the last 2 years I have watched the most absurd use of resources that I have seen in my entire life (I will try to make the sequence of events brief).

    -Marius is arrested at the airport for allegedly having in his possession .25 of a gram of ganja (nearly undetectable amount).

    -Marius is suspended from his job awaiting the results of his trial (in most civilized countries, this type of infraction would never make it to a judges docket).

    -Marius and Crown council spend about 40k preparing for trial.  And Marius’ employer also pays Marius 50% of his salary while he is under suspension and awaiting trial.

    -Six months later, Marius is convicted on the charge of possession (remember this was for .25 of a gram).

    -After many years of residing in Cayman, Marius now is fired from his job, his wife has to leave her job, and they are up-rooted and have to leave the island.  They were fortunate in that they were able to sell their home and possessions in a short period of time.

    -in absentia, Marius appeals and a few months later the conviction was reversed and Marius is found not guilty (both crown and defense spent several thousand dollars to prepare for the  hearing)

    -Crown is not happy and appeals the reversal.  Marius is found not guilty, again (thousands more are spent).

    -Crown is really not happy and is awarded 4th hearing on the matter.  The 4th hearing will be in August.

    by the time all the cost are added up to date; docket time, crown council costs, time spent by witnesses, defense costs, Marius’ salary while under suspension, etc.  Over a 1/4 of a million dollars have been spent and the matter of an alleged possession of .25 of a gram of ganja is still not settled.

    The matter is now resolved (hopefully for good this time).  However, Marius is not coming back and the money that was wasted is also gone.

    Can someone please helpme understand how this 1/4 of a million dollar expense makes sense.

    • Tracy from Swamp says:

      Want to know why all that money was spent?  We caymanians have done it again "Kiss,kiss, kiss, kiss the backside of somebody jackass"

      • I miss Marius says:

         Hello Tracy:

        I did not understand your reply.  Please explain which backside was kissed.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought Cayman followed English law?  Only if it had:

      (1)  The police would never have prosecuted a case like this.  The most they would have done (and for an amount as miniscule as this they probably wouldn’t have even done this) would be to give the person a warning and he would not be given a criminal record;

      (2) The case (having never been prosecuted by the Police in the first place) would never have reached court and never have gone through this ridiculous back and forth saga simply because someone somewhere didn’t like the acquittal.  NO WAY, would so much Police, Judicial and Attorney costs have been incurred;

      (3)  The employer would continue to employ the person in his regular job on his regular pay until the Court had made their final decision.  Had that decision been a conviction, then fair enough suspend him, but even then, an English employer would look at all the circumstances and I very much doubt would take any action against the employee in a situation such as this.

      (4)  The poor man and his family would not have had to uproot and move elsewhere, only to be acquitted at a later date.

      I could go on but this is a huge waste of public and private resources, the courts and police time.  Any organisation in the UK who dared to try and put a case like this through court would end up a laughing stock as this is clearly frivilolous and unnecessary use of both the courts and police force’s time and resources.

      The appealing and re-appealing of decisions by the Crown in Cayman is ludicrous and shameful, and most certainly does not reflect the conduct that would be observed of the Crown in England, who would have carried out a careful balancing exercise on the merits and costs of proceeding and who would have quickly nipped this one in the bud as uneconomical to proceed.  This simply is not putting the public purse to good use.  Just as with the policiticans, our money is being wasted.  I would far rather this kind of effort by our Police and Judiciary beput into prosecuting the real criminals on this island – and there’s plenty of them it seems.

      • Anonymous says:

        England Is a sensible country with a rational anti-drug policy.  It is an insult to the Mother Country to make any comparison to Cayman with its ignorant, back-woods and sorely antiquated drug laws and prosecution policies.

        Heads should have rolled relative to this case long before it turned in a debacle.

        Once again the Cayman legal system has embarrassed itself.

         

         

  22. PPS 2007 says:

    Thank GOD!!!! I have prayed long and hard for Mr. V and his family. I had the pleasure of knowing him on a personal level through both GTPS and PPS!!! He is one of the most genuine, sincere persons I know. He truly loved his job as a teacher, and had the genuine interest of ALL his students at heart. It was more than just a job to Mr. V it was his passion to encourage each one  to learn and be the best they could be. It is very sad that  because of petty politics, his family had to endure all that they did. POLITICS is what it boiled down to in the end. This was their home regardless of what passport they held, they loved Cayman and it’s people.

    How do you compensate for all that they endured? You can’t! Let’s all remember that GOD is a just and fair God!! We love you guys, and even though I am certain the victory is bittersweet, know that you will always have a place in our hearts!!!!!

  23. mariusvoiculescu says:

    A big thank you and a warm hello to all who have supportedmy family throughout this marathon ordeal.  I am especially grateful to Nicholas Dixey and his firm, Mourant, for their pro bono work on my appeal.  Mr. Dixey’s tremendous effort made it possible for justice to be finally served.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Two wasted appeals by the Crown in which the Crown then presents no evidence.
    Same deal with Whorms appeal – no case by the Crown on appeal and crown counsel turns up unable to answeras she was unfamiliar with the case.
    The professional standard of crown is abysmal.

    I recall a case a couple years ago where a lay man repesented himself against the legally trained crown counsel, with the full resources of the public purse.

    Are there no standards of competence for the Crown?
    How are we citizens to get justice?

  25. anonymous says:

    So let me get this straight – they dragged this guy through five different trials despite the fact that the spliff was half-smoked, yet his DNA was not on it, and his urine did not test positive for ganja?  Over 0.004 oz?  How much did the Crown spend on this?

  26. CSI says:

    This case was a waste of time and money from the beginning, and I couldn’t be happier for Mr. Voiculescu’s aquittal.  The case should have been thrown out right from the start, for countless reasons:

    1. The chain of custody was never established (and couldn’t be).  The spliff could have come from anywhere.

    2. The prosecutor, John Masters, resorted to ridiculous tactics to try and save face in a prosecution that should never have been undertaken in the first place.  A terrible waste of public funds.

    3. The Chief Magistrate made several errors of judgment. e.g. She acknowledged that Mr. Voiculescu was not a drug user, and yet still concluded that he would knowlingly carry around 0.004 oz. of ganja in a cigarette package.  Thankfully Justice Henderson noted this warped logic in his judgment.

    Instead, we have lost a very successful and well liked teacher from the government school system, who has unjustly had his life uprooted, lost his job, been kicked out of the country, and spent thousands in legal fees over the last 28 months.  Great result, unfortunately it’s 28 months late.

    • Anonymous says:

      This reflects very poorly on the prosecutor and the whole Legal Department.  It is reasonable to assume that there was somebody’s personal vendetta involved here.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Marius!  Justice is finally served.  What a waste of taxpayers money to pursue this case at all. 

  28. Concerned Caymanian says:

    What the #%$#^! With all the obvious offences going on with impunity (have you stolen pension monies from your employee today ?) the AG attacks a school teacher on the flimsiest of evidence with this fervour? Wow – and when a West Indian gets caught with a lit spliff they are often not even prosecuted. 

     

    I will hug the next Canadian I see. I am so sorry.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel so bad for this man, whom I knew personally and I know how this has negatively impacted his career and indeed, his life.  He has spent so much on appeals to try to prove his innocence and  they continue to try to prove something…prove what?

      Mr. V should be brought back and reinstated in his job.  He was really good with the children and this all appears to be something that was trumped up by a jealous person who perhaps wanted his job. 

      • My2cents says:

        Would be wonderful for both the School and Immigration to get together and off him his job back. However I imagine having been uprooted once, and now, years later presumably re-settled back in Canada, he probabily does not want to be (re)up-rooted again.

        Still, it would be a nice gesture on behalf of the island if the school and immigration were to do that. But will it happen?

    • I have nothing against Judge Henderson.

      But all I have to say, I feel in general, if you are a light colored person, you are treated differently. If that was a Jamaican or dark skin Caymanian, do you think he would have got off so easily?

      You find it even in the Police – as soon as they see a white man, many associate the whiteness for goodness. A white man dirivng his car 2 o’clock in the morning is just a good law-abiding citizen who is going to his home. But upon seeing a black man driving a beat-up car at those hours, sorry for him. Unless you are rich and well known like Barak Obama, you may have some influence over certain people’s perceptions and not be harassed or assessed by the police.

      But this is how the world operates and I personally feel it effects final judgements or outcomes in a case.

      • An Ony Mous says:

        Got off easily?  I don’t think 2+ years and thousands in legal fees constitutes "getting off easily".  It was only because (a) he didn’t commit the crime (read the details of the article – it’s not just a case of "getting off"); and (b) he tirelessly tried for over 2 years to clear his name.  He could have accepted the summary court’s (incorrect) verdict, paid a small fine of about $400, and left the island (which he was forced to do anyway).  Instead he spent thousands of his personal money to clear his name.  And you think this is "getting off easy"???

      • Anonymous says:

        You think he got off easy??????????

      • O'Really says:

        Sorry, I thought you said "got off so easily" there for a minute. Must need my coffee this morning. 

      • Anonymous says:

        OK so its clear you didn’t read or understand anything about this case and the evidence.

      • Anonymous says:

        WTF are you talking about? This "light skinned" person you are talking about did NOT get off easily has been through hell for no good reason. Get over yourself.

      • I miss Marius says:

        Hello Independent to the bone.   I do not understand your comment "got off so easily".  The draconian measures that were used in this case were nothing short of persecution.  The skin color has nothing to do with the fact that a grave miscarriage of justice and an ill conceived use of judicial resources has occurred.