Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo along with a Ministerial team met this afternoon with a Judicial Team, led by the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh, to discuss issues regarding the backlog of court cases and delayed trials.
The meeting took place at the Court of Appeal building and is in keeping with President Granger’s request for the government and the judiciary to look at ways to address issues affecting persons awaiting trials in the court system.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Chief Justice (ag) Yonnette Cummings – Edwards, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali – Hack.
On the Government side, Prime Minister Nagamootoo was accompanied by State Minister Joe Harmon, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and Attorney General Basil Williams.
Most of the issues discussed centered around ongoing complaints from prisoners about the long waits for the commencement of their trials and the long bag log of cases.
Prisoners have claimed that the fiery protest which resulted in the deaths of 17 inmates was in rebellion against the long period of time it takes for many of their cases to be heard.
Many of the prisoners who died were remand inmates who had been in prison for several years, awaiting their trials.
PM Nagamootoo said the discussions will also deal with wider issues of the judicial system. “This meeting was requested by the President and he has asked me to represent him at this meeting,” Nagamootoo said during brief comments.
Chancellor Carl Singh noted that it is the hope of his team to identify the ways in which the work of the courts impacts upon the situation and circumstances within the prison.
He said an assessment will also be made of how prison operations and prison life could be affected by what is done in the Courts. “We are going to seize the opportunity to identify issues that touch upon those matter and to see if they are problematic how we can resolve them.”