Chief Justice under fire for granting bail to senior cop

A senior attorney has taken issue with the involvement of  Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson in this week’s bail hearing for accused Acting Senior Superintendent of Police John Mark Annel, while suggesting that the whole issue of bail had now been thrown into a tailspin and the integrity of the local justice system compromised.

The Queen’s Counsel, who requested anonymity on the grounds that he has legal matters pending with the CJ, said the hearing could just as easily have been done by a duty judge. Therefore, he has questioned the need for Sir Marston to hear Annel application on Monday.

“It is unthinkable . . . that a Chief Justice would stop what he is doing to entertain an application for bail. Those matters are routinely performed by duty judges,” he said.

The 56-year-old senior cop of Kenrick Hutson Drive, Lucas Street, St Philip is accused of committing six offences under the Firearms Act. However, he was granted $150,000 bail in the No.1 Supreme Court on Monday night, almost five hours after Magistrate Graveney Bannister remanded him to jail.

Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale did not object to bail for the senior policeman who is being represented by Sir Richard Cheltenham and Shelly-Ann Seecharan.

Calling it a “naked display of power” by the lawyers involved, the QC also suggested that Sir Richard had treated the court system with “a large measure of disrespect”, given that he had apparently made an application in the High Court on Annel’s behalf even before his case was properly dispensed with in the magistrates’ court.

“I heard when I was going home that the lawyer informed the magistrate that an application had already been made in the High Court when the magistrate told him that he could not entertain any application for bail.

‘Now that was so injudicious coming from a very senior lawyer and I mean must be condemned because you cannot go to a higher jurisdiction until you have at least passed through the court of lower jurisdiction,” the lawyer with several decades of legal experience told Barbados TODAY, adding that “the formalities have to be gone through.

‘But to say to the magistrate, ‘ we have already made an application and we have a hearing at 4 o’clock, it is absolutely, absolutely below board and it is really a hard shot at the integrity of the system,” the passionate attorney said.

Regarding the prosecution’s decision not to object to bail in Annel’s case, the noted attorney said it was now the norm for the prosecution to object to bail “in little, mundane, routine cases of theft”.

“So the whole issue of justice appearing to be done and justice being seen to be done really went through the eddoes in this matter,” he said, while warning that the entire judicial system had been “compromised”.

As 54-year-old prison officer Robin Wesley Wiltshire of Coach Hill, St John was preparing to appear in court here today on drug charges, the attorney was adamant that “a man like him should be made an example of”. However, he said based on the rulings issued so far in the Annel case, “how can you deny him bail now? How can you deny those fellows who the courts have been trying to register its disapproval of their behaviour by refusing to grant them bail once they are found with ammunition or guns?” he asked, while repeating that the system has been compromised and that “it is as good as those who run it”.

The outspoken attorney also took issue with the position issued by attorney-at-law Arthur Holder yesterday that the developments in Annel’s case were really nothing to shout about since the senior police officer was not the first to have a matter heard on the same day.

“There is no precedent here. This has been done before. People like to be controversial even when there is no need to do so. These matters are all at the discretion of the judge and it has been done before,” Arthur told Barbados TODAY yesterday.

However, the QC said this simply did not square with the position taken by Holder a few weeks ago when bail was denied to one of his clients.

“There is a lack of consistency in the judicial system. What is fair for one needs to be fair for all,” Holder had stated after no bail was granted to his client Duane Ryan Gittens, a civil engineer of Lot 405 Westwood Drive, Husbands, St James, who was arrested on August 31 following an operation at the Bridgetown Port, conducted by the Drug Squad and Customs Enforcement Division.

21 Responses to Chief Justice under fire for granting bail to senior cop

  1. John Everatt September 27, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Seems that this defendant is just too important to risk a bail hearing on a duty judge and risk that no bail would be granted or that bail would be granted on a per bullet basis. This openly and publicly would seem to have compromised the entire judicial system. Then again I suppose no precedent was set here either.

    Reply
  2. Lennox hewitt September 27, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Dont mind Holder he got 2 mouth

    Reply
  3. Tee White September 28, 2017 at 7:26 am

    At least we all know, if we didn’t know before, that we have an injustice system operating in our country.

    Reply
  4. mark the truth September 28, 2017 at 7:26 am

    THIS is not fair last year a man was picked up for stealing bottles from the stadium and he got half year in prison by magistrate cuffy ,a’ little, mundane, routine cases of theft” the man is a big police he been doing that for years probably to sell and make money ,further more he stole ammunition in barbados if u are caught with one bullet thats not registered they throw the book at you, where’s the community service ,were the “make a example to deter other police”the system is unfair and they should know better as police ,was his finger prints even taken was he grabbed up and treated like crap like every one else this is utter injustice i believe the QC IS RIGHT there is something nasty going on in barbados,the man is a thief its people like this police that stole that money the police missing millions in drug money in the last months pass

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  5. Alex Alleyne September 28, 2017 at 7:30 am

    All this nonsense will stop after the FBI move in and ship some people back to the USA for trial.

    Reply
  6. mark truth September 28, 2017 at 7:36 am

    before i say whats below Barbados is a place that once the amount is above a particular amount you are slapped with intent to supply this is the truth
    THIS is not fair last year a man was picked up for stealing bottles from the stadium and he got half year in prison by magistrate cuffy ,a’ little, mundane, routine cases of theft” the man is a big police he been doing that for years probably to sell and make money ,further more he stole ammunition in barbados if u are caught with one bullet thats not registered they throw the book at you, where’s the community service ,were the “make a example to deter other police”the system is unfair and they should know better as police ,was his finger prints even taken was he grabbed up and treated like crap like every one else this is utter injustice i believe the QC IS RIGHT there is something nasty going on in barbados,the man is a thief its people like this police that stole that money the police missing millions in drug money in the last months pass

    Reply
  7. Bajan September 28, 2017 at 7:43 am

    The black Bajan population needs to stop tearing down they own whilst other segments of Barbadian society are committing every conceivable crime possible and reaping the benefits from these illegal and immoral actions.

    The colour of John Annel’s skin and his social status in society influences how he is treated. YOUR skin colour and ‘socio-economic class’ also determines how YOU are perceived in Barbados. Ask yourself, If John Annel was of a different race or if he were very rich or a top ranking member of the ‘political class’, would he be in this position today? You know the answer is ‘NO. He would not!’ OPEN Whunnuh eyes people.

    Reply
    • Leroy September 28, 2017 at 8:38 am

      So question, in your ideal system you would only lock up white people and the people at the very top?

      Reply
      • Bajan September 28, 2017 at 11:35 am

        This present system is ideal for people other than those of African descent. It functions in a manner as to convince the poor, black population, that their crimes are overwhelmingly more horrendous and dishonourable than those committed by other segments of the population.

        The, ‘I am fair’, ‘I want justice for all’ and ‘No man is above the law’ attitude, as seen by the comments on John Annel and the Prison Officer, is a fallacy that the black population believes in. The other races and ethnicities don’t believe any of that and they promote themselves as superior and above the law. That’s why they grow in strength and in wealth. That’s why they have the power and the authority to regulate the economic and judicial system as they please. The black people just follow the rules. Why? Cause we believe in our badness and unworthiness yet we adore and uphold without question, the sanctity of those that continue to ruin us.

        Reply
        • Jennifer September 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm

          Bajan – = mind DESTRUCTION. once u control/destroy the mind of a people u don’t have to worry about their actions. And we need to identify what accounts as SUPERIOR – goodness one should at least have an EMF protector. Religion and education pushing bare white supremacy BS. good going for turkey.

          Reply
  8. Carl September 28, 2017 at 7:57 am

    As reasonable and convincing as those arguments are, the same attorneys have to take some of he blame for the state of the ‘justice’ system. They have long manipulated the system for their $elfish gain for the benefit of their clients at the expense of the safety and security of law abiding citizens. Other persons have benefited from similar circumstances in the past but all hell breaks loose when a police is involved. We seem to prefer to be willing to take a chance with a criminal but hang out the police to dry. I don’t blame them totally though since it has happened in history. Maybe you remember these words: Give us Barabas, crucify Jesus.

    Reply
  9. Sue Donym September 28, 2017 at 8:15 am

    When what you know is as important as who you know.

    Reply
  10. F.A.Rudder September 28, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Did some one get away from the enactment of Westminister Policy ? As a member of the Royal Barbados Police Force one has to upkeep the laws of a soverign British Commonwealth State and when one breaks the confidence of protecting the citizens within the commonwealth you will be redeamed a rogue. Not even the Governor of Barbados is exempted from the Statutes of established laws withing the Commonwealth of Barbados!

    Reply
  11. F.A.Rudder September 28, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Line four should have read as such; ” Not even the Governor General”!

    Reply
  12. F.A.Rudder September 28, 2017 at 11:51 am

    A thorough cross examination into the arsenal of ammunitions stored privately by this individual employed by the Royal Barbados Police Force should be brought foward to the people! It not as simple as one may think! Many shooting have been occurring across the land and that comes about when fire armes are charged with ammunition. Where was the local street supply of ammo comming from?

    Reply
  13. Alex Alleyne September 28, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Not a word on this from the AG, but I am quite sure that all this is not going “UNNOTICE BY ALL INTERNATION COUNTRIES THAT BARBADOS DO BUSINESS WITH”.

    Reply
  14. Ann Thomas September 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    A big long stupse to the anonymous senior lawyer. Where were you last year and the year before?

    Reply
  15. Sue Donym September 28, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Is there an automatic suspension if criminal charges are brought against a RBPF member? Is there an active review board – if so how is it made up? Will there be an internal case within a specified time? Surely there are measures in place so that there is not even the perception that there can be any influence or interference in the case. Can BT fill us in on what happens next?

    Reply
  16. Native Bajan September 28, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    His cell phone account must be inspected; along with his nineteen friends on Face Book activities!

    Reply
  17. Theo Pinder September 28, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Bajans got short memories, remember the white man who was charged for murder? He got bail after he too was remanded and even left the island to go for medical treatment overses without the permission of the authorities…

    Reply
  18. Native Bajan September 30, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Genealogically can you find the surmame of Annel within the Barbados registry sixty years ago? I’ ve tried but it send me to South Africa all the time. I keep running up a brick wall!!

    Reply

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