Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicosIslands, October 9, 2023 – The trial is ongoing, started on Monday September 25 against KENIEL DUVERVIL, 21 in the Grand Turk Supreme Court before his lordship the Hon Mr. Justice Davidson Kervin Baptiste and a six member jury.
The make-up of the jury is four females and two males.
On Thursday 28th September just ahead of the Youth Day public holiday, Magnetic Media travelled to the Nation’s Capital to cover the trial proceedings.
Three witnesses testified that day and we will outline two of those testimonies in this report and the third person’s evidence in a later report.
Assistant Superintendent of police (ASP) Dexter Porter in his evidence in chief as questioned and guided by prosecuting counsel Mrs Nayasha Hatmin said he was part of the planned operation that went to The Bight community when they found the two firearms and both with ammunitions.
He said, he was the officer who tested the firearms and came to a conclusion that both were lethal and could kill someone or cause a person grievous bodily harm. ASP Porter testified that he took the firearms to the gun range using police issued ammunition, as well as bullets found with the guns for his testing.
The senior police said both guns were in perfectly working condition and the ammo for each were live rounds capable of discharging.
In his evidence the ASP told the Court that the accused was found naked in his home; he said he was the third officer to have entered the targeted house in the tactical operation in The Bight, Providenciales.
He said they first grabbed a hold of the defendant and officers found a Glock 17 pistol, bearing serial number LED547 with 14 rounds of 9 mm ammunition. These were tendered and admitted into evidence with the six member jury being able to see them and if they so desired, could have asked the ASP, as well as any of the other witnesses questions; however the jury panel declined to ask ASP Porter any questions.
We also heard of the findings of a much bigger firearm in the back trunk of a car.
Detective ASP Porter initially described it as a PA 15 carbine rifle with a serial number of PA134393 that carried much larger bullets; the firearm in question was also shown to the jury and trial judge.
However, in cross examination by the senior defense attorney Finbar Grant, who is representing the accused man, he was able to get D/ASP to agree that although the gun is a much bigger gun and carries much larger bullets, the manufacturers calls it a PA 15 carbine pistol and not a rifle.
The senior public prosecutor, Mrs Hatmin then applied to the judge to amend the charge by deleting the word rifle and inserting pistol. Porter said that firearm can shoot at long distance and how both guns were semi-automatic
weapons and not automatic weapons.
He was asked to describe the difference and he said an automatic weapon when you press the trigger all the bullets are released until the clip/magazine is empty and a semi-automatic only bullets are released when you press the trigger, you have to press the trigger each time for a bullet to be released/discharged, he told the jury.
He was briefly cross examined by attorney Grant.
Following D/ASP Porter’s evidence, a 25-year-old young lady TM from The Bight gave evidence in the trial concerning the Fuga car that the larger firearm and magazine with bullets was found in.
She told the court that yes she knows the accused for many years from Clement Howell High School (CHHS) days. She was then allowed to identify the accused through the video link as the person sitting in the back in a gray shirt. She said her car was giving her problems and she gave it to the defendant Mr. KENIEL DUVERVIL. She said she couldn’t remember her car license plate number but when shown a car on the video link and shown the license plate number, she said that’s it, that's her car and that’s the car she gave him to take to the mechanic.
She denied knowing anything about the gun in the back trunk of the car.
The woman witness went on to say, “I’ve never seen or touched a gun in my life before.”
She said nothing was in the trunk and nothing was wrong with the trunk when she give it to him. Her evidence was brief, straight to the point and concerning the car alone. The woman was however still cross-examined by Mr Finbar Grant, who had only a few questions.
The trial continues, with a verdict expected later on in this week.
CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).
In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”
The priorities stated under the agenda are:
- Curbing emissions to limit global temperature
increase to 1.5 ̊C
- Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and
loss and damage
- Improving access to and delivery of climate finance
for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach
- Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience
- Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,
sustainable and resilient development
- Promoting gender equity and social inclusion
approaches to climate action
- Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as
core to the climate response
- Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered
approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice
The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.
Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
Support for Flood-Affected Farmers
#Kingston, November 26, 2023 – A total of $157 million is to be provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, to support farmers affected by the recent heavy rains from Potential Tropical Cyclone 22.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, made the announcement during a National ‘Eat Jamaican Day’ ceremony in Portland on Friday (November 24).
The Minister lamented that the country had moved from a period of harsh drought to the next extreme – flooding.
“A number of our farmers suffered tremendous loss and the team from RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority) has been out since last week Saturday, trying to quantify what has been the losses that have been suffered by our farmers,” he said.
According to the Minister, preliminary figures reveal that $274 million in damage was done to the agricultural sector, with livestock farmers suffering about $25 million in losses; equipment loss of over $10 million; $173 million in crop loss; and $64 million in damage to the farm road network.
“The good news is that we are not going to leave our farmers alone and we know, as they said to the Prime Minister when he toured last week, that once they get some support, they are willing to go back out and farm,” Mr. Green indicated.
The $157 million support package from the Ministry will be used in several ways. A total of $70 million is to be provided for crop support – inputs, seeds, and fertilizers – and another $8 million for equipment support.
A total of $15 million will be expended for support to livestock and $64 million will be used to rehabilitate farm roads.
Minister Green also announced that resulting from a gift from the Kingdom of Morocco, 24,000 bags of fertilizers will be distributed among farmers over the next two weeks.
The Minister informed that the parish that was most affected by the recent weather event was St. Thomas and that, “almost every farming community in St. Thomas suffered from flood damage.”
Farming communities in St Andrew were also cut off because of landslides.
Contact: Mickella Anderson-Gordon
Photo Caption: Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Floyd Green.
Photo by Mark Bell
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