Charges withdrawn against woman accused of throwing missiles at St Vincent PM
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – The prosecution on Wednesday withdrew the charge against a 58-year old vendor who had been accused of throwing missiles on August 5, 2021 during a protest against the St Vincent government's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves was struck in the head and injured during the protest.
The vendor, Annamay Lewis, was charged in September 2021 with wounding Prime Minister Gonsalves. However, that charge was withdrawn on September 15, 2021.
On Wednesday, the prosecutor, Corlene Samuel also withdrew the charge of throwing missiles when Lewis appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate's Court. In August Magistrate John Ballah had indicated that he would allow no further adjournments of the matter.
However, the prosecution can reinstate the charge against the accused even as her lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that her client had “no fear” of that happening.
“Too much time has passed,” the lawyer said, adding that when the matter was called on Wednesday, the prosecution indicated that a witness who was critical to the Crown's case was still not available.
Bacchus-Baptiste said that based on the magistrate's comment, it was clear that he was going to dismiss the charge.
On August 28, the magistrate had set November 29 as the final date for the trial telling the parties that he is “an equal opportunity hitter” and would dismiss the case if the prosecution was not ready or would proceed if the defence was absent.
The matter had been adjourned a number of times over the last two years.
During one of the sittings, the prosecution had said it was prepared to start the trial but one of its witnesses, a police officer, was out of state at the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) and the court would take his evidence by video link.
“Why wasn't the application made long before? This is a 2021 matter,” Ballah had responded.
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