Posted: Wednesday, October 4, 2023. 7:18 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Five years after being first charged in July of 2019, the trial of defense attorney Oscar Selgado on a charge of abetment to commit murder began in the High Court before Justice Nigel Pilgrim.
Selgado is accused of, in February of 2019, hiring a man to kill a woman who had reported him to the General Legal Council following claims of alleged sexual assault of a male intern in the Office of the Ombudsman under Lionel Arzu.
The alleged hitman reportedly went to police with the recording but is allegedly afraid to come to court in person.
The main complainant confirmed her evidence in court, after which the focus turned to missing electronic evidence. One police officer from the Cybercrime Unit explained that he was tasked to extract footage from a cellphone – crucial evidence that was later lost.
Then Trienia Young, the Registrar General of the Supreme Court, told the court that in 2021, the then Chief Justice Michelle Arana gave her an envelope, in which she said she could feel the CD cases that, presumably, held the recordings. Later, in February 2023, it was reported that the exhibits on file were not there. She attempted to source other copies but to no avail.
Former Ombudsman Arzu took the stand to confirm to the court that there was an allegation against Selgado by a male intern and that he had only found out about it after a non-disclosure agreement was handed to him by a now-deceased office staff member. According to him, he put the envelope in his personal bag, and later, it went missing.
After the hearing concluded, Selgado confronted waiting media outside the courtroom and demanded they “respect [his] privacy” and said he would not comment until the case is concluded, as is his right.
But absolutely nothing other than consideration for cases involving minors and sensitive issues prevents the press from covering any High Court case and speaking to whomever they wish, as was proven when defense counsel and former Director of Public Prosecutions and High Court Judge Adolph Lucas, Senior, Senior Counsel, briefly detailed what happened in the courtroom and what would come next.
According to Lucas, “They’re going to bring in [witnesses], to show that [the purported hitman] is supposed to be in fear to come to court. If the judge rules that he is in fear [of coming] to court they’re going to read his statement. But Mr Selgado will have that opportunity to give evidence too.” He added that police officers would testify to hearing the contents of the alleged hitman’s recording which corroborates his statement to the Police, but as of yet, he feels there is not much that is “solid” against his client.
The trial continues.
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