– reappears in court
Several leading personalities yesterday turned up at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court in solidarity with an 18-year-old man who was remanded to prison for two weeks for allegedly showing his middle finger to President Jagdeo’s convoy.
The young man, Kevin Simon of South Ruimveldt, allegedly made the obscene gesture while travelling on the main East Coast Highway on August 8.
He was initially charged with breaching the peace under one section of the law and appeared before Magistrate Judy Latchman the following day and pleaded not guilty.
He was remanded to prison for one week but on his return to court on August 16, he was sent back to the Camp Street Prison for another week.
On those occasions, Simon was unrepresented by counsel.
His family then secured the services of prominent defence attorney Nigel Hughes, who subsequently applied to the High Court and secured bail in the sum of $5,000.
Yesterday, the Prosecution informed the court that they were withdrawing the charge against the young man, with a view to reinstitution under another section of the law.
Ewald Simon, the young man’s father, told this newspaper that when they turned up at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court yesterday, they learnt that the matter was already called.
However, a representative who was in the courtroom, related to them that the police had “reallocated the charge to another section (of the law), because it couldn’t stand up under the present section and, they will send the youth a summons to appear (in court) on September 20.”
The Prosecution is contending that the young man stuck out his middle finger at the President, which they claimed amounted to a criminal act.
The young man, a porter on a water delivery truck, is on the other hand contending that he was merely hanging his hand against the breeze when he was accused of the act.
He was detained at the Sparendaam Police Station for an entire day and night before being taken to court.
Among those showing their solidarity with the young man were former PNCR Member of Parliament Anthony Vieira, Newspaper Columnist Freddie Kissoon, Social Activist Mark Benschop and Trade Unionists Lincoln Lewis and Norris Witter.
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