Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2023. 9:50 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: Day 2 of a purported sickout by five crown counsels of the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) office continued today while the Attorney General says negotiations regarding concerns raised by the counsels continue.
Their absence, which began yesterday and coincided with the opening of the High Court, has left the DPP’s office scrambling, trying to keep up with several high profile cases. The DPP herself, Cheryl Lynn-Vidal, appeared in court today with support staff in the court of Justice Nigel Pilgrim to prosecute Jared Ranguy, who is on trial for the triple murder of his family. His case, pending since 2012, was further adjourned until September 26 while relatives of the deceased victims were present in court.
The prosecutors are reportedly taking action in the form of a sickout because negotiations with the government regarding pressing concerns, including that of their safety in dealing with high-profile matters, has not been addressed to their satisfaction.
Attorney General Anthony Sylvestre, however, in an interview with the media today did not acknowledge the absence of several prosecutors from court as a sickout. He said he would take at face value that the prosecutors who called in sick are indeed sick. He added, however, that actions are being taken to address the concerns of the crown counsels and said those negotiations are ongoing. The next meeting between government and the counsels will take place on Friday.
In the meantime, the DPP’s office has sent several memos to the police department informing that it cannot advise on at least 7 active cases in the court.
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