Date set for Ninja Dan trial!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

TToni Ni­cholas he quote “Jus­tice de­layed is jus­tice de­nied” is at­trib­ut­able to Wil­liam Ewart Glad­stone. It is a le­gal maxim that slides eas­ily off the tongues of lawyers and politi­cians alike, never mind that they do very lit­tle to speed up the grind­ing wheels.

The quote came to mind this week when a num­ber of mur­der cases were brought be­fore the High Court. Among them was one case in the name of ac­cused Michael Stephen who has been in cus­tody since 1978, dear reader, be­fore Saint Lu­cia was granted in­de­pen­dence from Great Bri­tain whose gov­ern­ment only re­cently re­peated its call for our lead­ers to aban­don the death penalty. Stephen’s lawyers are seek­ing to have his case re­viewed.

The other cases heard this week in­volved three men on re­mand since 2009 and another since 2002.

On Mon­day De­cem­ber 15 five ma­jor cases were sched­uled to be heard be­fore Jus­tice Fran­cis Cum­ber­batch in the fi­nal docket fix­ture for the year. Among the state ver­sus ac­cused killers were Jonathan St. Rose aka Ninja Dan, Lyn­den Blasse and Marvyn Terry Nel­son.

The three men have been on re­mand since 2009. Their case has gar­nered much pub­lic at­ten­tion in part due to its na­ture and the pro­file of one of the ac­cused, Ninja Dan, who was at the time of his ar­rest a widely ap­pre­ci­ated en­ter­tainer.

On Mon­day Ninja Dan and fel­low ac­cused, whose case has sev­eral times been ad­journed, were fi­nally granted a trial date of Fe­bru­ary 2, 2015. The other mat­ter in­volves Peter Solomon who was charged with the mur­der of Cyril Lau­rency in 2002 in Ti Rocher.

There are ap­prox­i­mately 369 in­mates cur­rently on re­mand at the Borde­lais Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity of which 358 are male. Re­mand Jus­tice, a re­cently formed pres­sure group that in­cludes Se­na­tor Steven King, has been ap­peal­ing to the gov­ern­ment to pay more at­ten­tion to the jus­tice sys­tem that keeps cit­i­zens be­hind bars for years with­out even a trial date.

Will Ninja Dan and other re­mand pris­on­ers fi­nally have

their day in court?

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