Lam­birds Hu­man Traf­fick­ing Case gets Un­der­way!

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

The long-awaited trial of the hu­man traf­fick­ing case as­so­ci­ated with the Lam­birds Academy scan­dal got un­der­way on Tues­day this week, be­fore Senior Mag­is­trate Fulcher. The mag­is­trate de­cided to pro­ceed with the trial de­spite the no-show of de­fence lawyers. The case had been ad­journed on count­less oc­ca­sions to fa­cil­i­tate de­fence re­quests. One wit­ness gave ev­i­dence on Tues­day and was cross-ex­am­ined the fol­low­ing day by the de­fen­dants. Sev­eral other wit­nesses are due to tes­tify. The trial con­tin­ues on Wed­nes­day next week.

The back story: there were three sets of charges com­ing out of this Lam­birds mat­ter: money laun­der­ing; ob­tain­ing prop­erty by de­cep­tion; and hu­man traf­fick­ing. The money laun­der­ing cases were dis­missed by Mag­is­trate Moise on the ba­sis the trial did not com­mence within 180 days as re­quired by The Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Rule. The mag­is­trate’s de­ci­sion was ap­pealed by the of­fice of the DPP. This ap­peal has not been heard.

The ob­tain­ing prop­erty by de­cep­tion cases are in­dictable mat­ters to be heard by the high court. Those cases have started at suf­fi­ciency hear­ing be­fore a master in the high court. The role of the master is to ex­am­ine the ev­i­dence to de­ter­mine whether there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to send the mat­ter to trial. The other charges were sent from a mag­is­trate’s court to high court and have not been heard of again.

As for the stu­dents in­volved in the cases, most of them from In­dia and the Philip­pines, sev­eral have re­turned home af­ter hang­ing around idly for over a year, among them wit­nesses un­der the pro­tec­tion of the pre­vi­ous govern­ment.

Many of the stu­dents, al­legedly vic­tims of a hu­man traf­fick­ing scam, have re­turned home to In­dia and the Philip­pines, vol­un­tar­ily and oth­er­wise.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.