Government appealing two trial delay awards

Government is appealing two of the cases in which three men were awarded thousands of dollars in damages because of the length of time it took for their cases to be tried.

While acknowledging that delays in trials and missing files were a problem, Attorney General Dale Marshall said the state was “fighting back” on the legal fundamentals.

One of the men was Pedro Deroy Ellis, who was awarded $75 000 for his 18-day detention at the conclusion of his murder trial and $60 000 for the 11 months he spent on remand after the Court of Appeal upheld his appeal.

Marshall said a policy would also be implemented which will see murder and firearm offences treated as priorities in the judicial system.

Speaking yesterday during wide-ranging press conference at Police Headquarters to deal with the recent spike in firearm offences, he said: “We have just had three cases in the High Court being decided  . . . and in each of those cases the issue was the delay and how it infringes persons’ constitutional rights. In each of those cases those people had damages awarded.

“I’ve given instructions that we are to appeal two of them. We are fighting back on the legal fundamentals. We are going to appeal the last two decisions.” (MB)

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