Case Dropped Against 22 Barbudans Charged with Trespassing on PLH-Leased Land

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Barbudans Enter Court

After years of legal battles, the case against 22 Barbudans accused of trespassing on land leased to Peace Love and Happiness (PLH) has been dismissed.

The charges, which have been viewed by many as textbook intimidation tactics, were dropped due to the prosecution’s consistent lack of readiness and failure to produce necessary witnesses.

Attorney Leon “Chaku” Symister, representing the 22 defendants, expressed relief and vindication over the case’s outcome.

“Exactly two years and eleven days ago, 22 persons were hauled before the court alleging that they trespassed on land leased by PLH. We have been coming to court since November 2020, dealing with this matter, and except for a short adjournment that we requested, the prosecution has never been ready. They never had the witnesses they claimed they had that were required for this case to go to trial,” Symister said.

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The prosecution’s inability to present a virtual complainant, a representative from PLH who would have filed the initial complaint to the police, played a significant role in the case’s dismissal.

“There were never any written complaints that they could provide to the defense, and astonishingly, no one from PLH has ever come to court, although this matter was scheduled on at least five different occasions,” Symister added.

Symister and his clients believe the attempted prosecution was a deliberate effort to intimidate and criminalize Barbudans who are defending their ancestral land.

“We are satisfied that this attempted prosecution was a way to frighten people in Barbuda who are defending their land. They have failed, and they will continue to fail despite their efforts to use the criminal justice system to criminalize legal conduct carried out by Barbudans. We will have none of it,” Symister declared.

The dismissal of this case has reignited discussions about land rights and business dealings in Barbuda.

Many Barbudans feel strongly that enough is enough and are calling for their land back. The sentiment of distrust towards entities like PLH is growing, with calls for the community to reconsider any future business engagements with such organizations.

“Why should Barbudans do any business with these people?” Symister questioned, reflecting the community’s frustration. “Enough is enough. We want our land back!”

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4 COMMENTS

  1. This shows that the police deliberately did not do their job. And it happens in this country on many instances. To date the police cannot bring the case against young Mr. Ryan who drove his car and knock down Andrea Hughes on New Winthropes road.
    https://antiguaobserver.com/road-fatality-case-still-on-hold/#google_vignette
    Shirlette Thomas still has no answers from the police from shooting death of her son by a police officer. I mean we have many of these case where the police are deliberately killing the case before the court.
    Cabinet must be able to do something about this. The police cannot be seen to obstruct justice with impunity. There should be some body in charge of the police that can take action against their lack of doing their job.

  2. It is all well and good to go after the Police.However,there is a situation in Antigua.It involves a business woman and a Chinese Investor.The Police were going to do a search on her home and business.They were called off by someone in a higher position in the Force.I am wondering who ordered that the search not happen.Are there Politicians inserting themselves in certain police situations based on the person involved? What happened to the person who forged the Prime Minister’s signature? ARE WHITE COLLAR CRIMES BEING CONDONED IN ANTIGUA?

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