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– one Magistrate serving five districtsBy Dale AndrewsA crisis situation seems to be developing in the Magistrate’s Courts on the East Coast of Demerara following the resignation of Magistrate Yohhahnseh Cave.Magistrate Cave, who presided over the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court left the bench last week Friday and with Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus proceeding on leave, the Herculean task of manning the five courts on the East Coast of Demerara, is now left up to Magistrate Haymant Ramdhani.Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus presided at the Vigilance and Cove and John Magistrate’s courts, while Magistrate Ramdhani was previously assigned to Mahaica and Mahaicony.Court was previously held every day at Sparendaam, while court days at Vigilance are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.Tuesday and Wednesday are the scheduled court days at Cove and John,Cheap NFL Jerseys, while at Mahaica it is Tuesday and Thursday and Monday at Mahaicony.As it stands Magistrate Ramdhani will preside over the five courts and this could only be possible if he attends court one day a week at the various locations.Kaieteur News understands that,Wholesale Jerseys From China, there will be court at Mahaicony on Mondays, Mahaica on Tuesdays, Cove and John on Wednesdays, Vigilance on Thursdays and Sparendaam on Fridays.A review of the situation has revealed that at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court which deals with cases from the Turkeyen, Sparendaam and Beterverwagting Police Districts, there are several thousand cases that are currently being addressed.Some of these matters are indictable while there are some summary matters that date back to 2005 still to be completed.A source at the Sparendaam Police Station disclosed that that district alone has several thousand cases pending.In Mahaica,Authentic NBA Jerseys Cheap, the figure is much lower at around 1000.Figures were not obtained for Mahaicony, Cove and John and Vigilance, but with Preliminary Inquiries dating back to the 2002-2006 crime wave still ongoing, the situation is not one of comfort.A source explained that there may be a case of Magistrate Ramdhani setting new dates for matters already engaging the courts at Vigilance,Authentic Adidas Hockey Jerseys China, Sparendaam and Cove and John, and dealing only with new matters that could be expedited.But this will result in some delay in justice since many persons on remand will now have to wait longer for their matters to be heard.Additionally, the situation will pose a problem for Prosecutors.Every time a Magistrate resigns, or is reassigned, witnesses in unfinished matters have to give evidence all over again.The source explained that in some cases, especially at Mahaica, witnesses for matters that occurred in the Mahaica Creek area have to travel from as far as the St. Cuthbert’s Mission,Cheap NFL Jerseys, which is some 93 miles up the Mahaica River.In cases of causing death by dangerous driving which occurred in the district, sometimes the witnesses are residing outside the district and this would necessitate sending several notices to inform them of their required presence, a very tedious tasks.While some witnesses are reluctant to go through the ordeal of giving evidence and being cross examined over and over, others leave the jurisdiction for various reasons unrelated to the court.In most cases this prolongs the matters, causing a build-up of cases in the Magistrate’s Court.Some Prosecutors agreed that the situation sheds a bad light on their work.“Whenever a case is dismissed for the lack of prosecution because witnesses don’t turn up, you hear all kinds of talk that the Prosecutor took money. This is unfair to us because we try our best to warn witnesses to come to court. But because of the delay in the court system, witnesses are fed up and don’t turn up. There is very little we as Prosecutors can do, a Police Prosecutor on the East Coast of Demerara told Kaieteur News.The Prosecutors have now resorted to requesting arrest warrants for these witnesses, something they say they are very reluctant to do.Only recently, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had recommended the appointment of three new magistrates to make up for the shortage.But this newspaper understands that the administration did not find favour with two of the appointees citing a lack of experience for not accepting the recommendation of the JSC.
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