Judicial review for 5 Dominica cops after man dies in custody

ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Five police officers who are facing charges in relation to the death of a man in custody have had their matter stayed pending a judicial review at the High Court.

The officers appeared in court on Wednesday afternoon in another day of high drama.

When they first appeared in court on Tuesday, defence attorneys objected to having the charges read to them saying it was “unlawful” and “irregular”.

On Wednesday the attorneys applied for a judicial review at the High Court asking that it “quash the complaint filed” and “an order of prohibition” to prevent the lower court from proceeding with the matter.

On Wednesday, defence attorneys argued that reading the charge to the accused persons would automatically trigger a ‘bail issue’.

In response, Director of Public Prosecution, Evelina Baptiste, disagreed and pointed out that a judicial review had not started and “once a matter has been filed, it’s before the court and the Magistrate cannot rule on a judicial review which was a matter for the high court.

The officers are to return to court on September 22 or sooner if an order from the high court is made.

Joshua Etienne’s “seemingly lifeless” body was found in his cell at the Portsmouth Police Station, where he was being held, on the morning of August 5.

He was pronounced dead by a district medical officer.

Etienne was arrested on August 4, for the alleged possession of ammunition.

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