‘Colin Jones terror gang’ must face High Court trial-DPP orders
Members of the “Colin Jones terror gang” have been committed to stand trial in the High Court on a charge that they fired at police officers at a Georgetown Police outpost.
This was after the Director of Public Prosecutions using the powers vested in her under Section 66 of the Criminal Procedures Act Chapter 10:01 of the constitution, instructed the Magistrate to commit them to a trial by jury.
The charge against Jones, Randy Mars, Jafar Simpson, Basil Morgan and Anthony Watson – was discharged last April by Magistrate Hazel Octive- Hamilton, but on Monday she informed the accused that she was ordered by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to send them to trial in the High Court.
The five men are facing various charges in several courts in and around the city for actions they reportedly committed during the alleged reign of terror on November 4, 2009.
However, the allegation that they fired at Police at the East La Penitence Outpost was the only charge to be dismissed.
Displeased by the court’s revelations, the accused questioned the grounds under which the DPP could take such actions.
Magistrate Hamilton explained that she is obligated to follow the instructions of the DPP who by fiat declared that the accused must stand trial in the senior court.
The Magistrate said she had initially found that enough evidence was not led by the prosecution to warrant a trial by jury.
She however said that the DPP would have perused the case file and found that evidence does exist for the men to stand trial for the charge, and under the constitution, she can order that the accused persons be committed.
Morgan and Jones were most vociferous as they vented their frustrations and disbelief at the court’s revelation.
Morgan asked about the powers that the DPP hold and was duly informed by the court that it was within the DPP’s jurisdiction to make such an order. He subsequently asked the court to grant him bail in the matter. Jones on the other hand requested to know whether he could plea to the offence and have it over with.
Jones was told by the court that he could not plead to the offence as the matter was only engaging the attention of the Magistrates’ Court to conduct the pre-trial hearing.
Attorney-at-law George Thomas made an appearance for the five men. He requested bail for all of them except Jones who he said is arraigned on murder charges and would thus not be able to have his pre-trial liberty.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Fazil Karimbaksh who prosecuted the pre-trial matter against the accused objected to bail on the grounds of the nature and gravity of the alleged crime. He said the accused persons are facing other matters such as attempted murder, discharging a loaded firearm and robbery under arms in other courts, and are also committed to stand trial at the High Court in some of those matters.
In light of the prosecutor’s information, the court denied bail for the men.
At least seven police officers secured the courtroom when the accused made their appearance yesterday; two on each side of the courtroom closest to the Magistrate and three other ranks manned the door. The men who were both shackled to the legs and handcuffed were immediately taken to court on arrival and were immediately taken away after facing the Magistrate.
Two Wednesdays ago, Jones made two attempts to wrestle firearms from two police ranks. The accused was subdued by a policeman to whom he indicated his intent to murder everyone seated in the Providence Magistrates’ Court, including the Magistrate. Officers took no chances yesterday and so made their way into the courtroom unarmed.
Jones and his co- accused are facing several charges which include setting fire to a building, attempted murder and discharging a loaded firearm. Jones faced additional charges of cannabis possession and cultivation to which he already pleaded and is serving time. He was further charged for escaping lawful custody, ammunition possession and gun possession. Many of the charges have been thrown over to the High Court. At Providence, Jones is facing a preliminary inquiry into the murder of two of his alleged accomplices who it is said he murdered and buried aback of Linden.