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High Court Ruling – man on remand has been unlawfully detained

by pointe team
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The High Court has ruled in favour of a man who has spent the last seven months
on remand in His Majesty’s Prison on a charge that was not properly filed against
The case involved a man who was arrested last October on a sexual offenses
charge. However, his attorney, Wendel Alexander-Robinson, appealed to the court
for his release, noting that his detention at HMP was illegal as the case against him
was filed by the police, without prior authorization from the Office of the Director
of Public Prosecutions.
Alexander-Robinson argued that the Criminal Prosecutions Service Act No. 28 of
2017 Section 27(2) which states Despite the provisions of any law enforced in
Antigua and Barbuda, and subject to subsection (1), no public officer shall, after
the commencement of this Act, institute any criminal proceedings or undertake the
prosecution of any criminal case in any court, unless he is authorised so to do, in
writing by the DPP.
He further argued that at the time no authorisation was ever given by the DPP prior
to charging and filing of the criminal Complaint as outlined in Section 27(2) of
The Criminal Prosecutions Service Act. The operations of the said Act came into
force since November 2021 by the Attorney General, by way of Statutory
The defense attorney argued this point before the magistrate’s court when he filed
a suit against the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police and the
Superintendent of the Prison, but the magistrate ruled against the suit. An appeal to
the High Court has resulted in overturning the lower court’s decision.
Alexander-Robinson stated, “The court has ruled in my favour that the man
charged with the sexual offence, the charge is null and void because the prior
consent of the DPP was not obtained… this also automatically nullifies the Dean
Jonas matter and potentially, many others,” he remarked.
The attorney has explained that the police have an option to re-arrest the man and
to file the charges, this time following the provisions of the law. The same is also
true of the case involving former parliamentarian Jonas.

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