Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-12-2012, 10:35   #61
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Auzee, I'm sure you are prowd of your profession, but many of us have experiences with the "press" that would suggest that your defence is without merit. I myself have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the press three times in my life and in none of those cases did they actually get the facts right. In one case I ws interviewed because of my expertise and was asked for recommendations about what an individual should do in a certain situation. I was very careful to have the reporter repeat back what I had said because if it was not presented correctly a person could easily endanger their lives by doing the wrong thing. When the story was published the reported had gotten it completely wrong and when I called the paper and asked them to print a correction they could not be bothered. Though there may be many fine journalists out there and you might be one of them, my experience would indicate they are the exception rather than the rule.
__________________

__________________
Captain Bill is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 10:36   #62
Senior Cruiser
 
Blue Stocking's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Georges, Bda
Boat: Rhodes Reliant 41ft
Posts: 4,114
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
As has already been pointed out, before we jump to conclusions we would need to know the facts. Firstly, it should be understood that St. Lucia is not a judicial backwater with kangaroo courts; rather, it is a common-law jurisdiction with the same rights to a fair trial including the right to counsel, the same standard of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt), the same onus of proof (on the prosecution), the same right to remain silent, etc. as other common-law jurisdictions around the world. Secondly, the judges are not merely local hacks with policitical connections, but rather jurists who are appointed after multiple interviews in a selection process that involves qualified applicants from other common-law jurisdictions around the world. While injustices can occur in St. Lucia, as anywhere, we make a grave error in assuming that they are systemic ones.

Secondly, as has also already been pointed out, this is not a charge that has been filed by the police with no oversight, but rather an indictment that has been preferred after a grand jury proceeding that would have entailed the calling of evidence on behalf of the prosecution.

We also should not assume that local investigative techniques are a joke. I know from a homicide trial that was presided over by a friend of mine in Antigua 18 months ago, that the police have access to outside agencies for forensic analysis including experts from the international medical school of the University of the West Indies at Grenada and, if sought, from New Scotland Yard.

We also have no idea what evidence exists with respect to the matter. While media reports seem to suggest a clear-cut case of self-defence, we do not know the source of the information provided to the media. Certainly in many juriisdictions (and with its English antecedents I suspect that St.Lucia is one of them), there is typically great concern by both the police and the prosecution services that cases not be litigated in advance in the media - precisely so that they can ensure an unbiased jury when the matter comes to trial. Simply put, we cannot assume that the police or prosecution have revealed their case, or the evidence that supports it.

While at first blush, based upon incomplete information, this appears to be a case of self-defence, it must be understood that at common law, self-defence is only available to those who used no more force than is reasonably necessary in order to defend themselves. To put it at its most basic, one is not entitled to kill a shop-lifter, or even an person who is attempting to commit burglary on a boat unless it was reasonably necessary. Again, at its most basic, think of the burglar who is fleeing when shot in the back.

Others have already referred to the fact that it is not uncommon in serious charges for a non-resident of a country to be held for trial without bail and again, it is not unusual for murder trials to take a year, or even longer to come to trial.

In sum, to this point there is nothing to suggest that an injustice has occurred.

Brad
Excellent , explicit post
As a proud islander it often pisses me off to see how quickly some of these threads degenerate to a "those banana republics" slant, when our law system has 900 yrs of history, --4 1/2 times the period that one major country has existed.
__________________

__________________
so many projects--so little time !!
Blue Stocking is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 11:05   #63
Registered User
 
neilpride's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in the world
Boat: csy 44 tall rig.
Posts: 3,099
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Excellent , explicit post
As a proud islander it often pisses me off to see how quickly some of these threads degenerate to a "those banana republics" slant, when our law system has 900 yrs of history, --4 1/2 times the period that one major country has existed.


Well , no ofense, but how you call this, i be robed in Bequia 5 years agoo after a couple of beers ashore, we found the guy swiming to a nearby rocks , i get the dingy and my spotlight and found the rasta man hiden in the rocks with a white plastic bag in the nuts , i shouted to drop the bag and get away from the area , the guy jump in the water and start swiming to the nearby beach, i reach the guy with the dingy and a fight start, the dude in question have a knife in hand and he stab my dingy and with the result of 2 wounds in my arm , i give it up when i see the guy running like hell uphill , after that i run ashore to the police station with blood everywhere with the surprise to found a junior police oficer wearing night swits or pijama i dont know how to call it, and listening that kind of BONG BONG with a cd headphone , no other polices around, when i explain the situation he answer me that the only thing can do is to call a taxi to reach the doctor , i say the wounds are ok, and if is posible to came to my boat and the nearby beach to see if is posible to found the guy hiden somewhere, No, we dont have a dingy to reach the beach or your boat, and is to late, at least let me do a report, No, you need to comeback early in the morning and get a doctor as soon as posible, next morning with the wounds stiched i knock the door at the police station and willing to get a report, No, you need to be in Mainland St Vincent for the report and cost you i dont remember well , lots of EC dollars, WTF, I be robbed, and i need to pay for a report?? anyway i get the ferry and go for the report, i be in a private room with 2 young guys for 2 hours trying to teach this guys grammar with a 20 years old typewriter, answer the same question 4 or 5 times , well its close to a BANANA REPUBLIC,,,,

After this incident 4 or 5 boats be robed in the same spot, and i want to say that my boat is locked in the night of the incident , hatchs and main door , this guys know how to break or open a closed hatch, Night swit or Pijama with a Automatic pistol in the nuts and listening Calypso with headphones , is just surreal!!
__________________
neilpride is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 11:21   #64
Registered User
 
funjohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Currently Indiantown FL
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
Posts: 1,846
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
i be in a private room with 2 young guys for 2 hours trying to teach this guys grammar
Awesome
__________________
MJSailing.com - Written Blog
Youtube MJ sailing - Vlog
funjohnson is online now  
Old 24-12-2012, 11:57   #65
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Neil, I am sorry about your experience with the police on Bequia but my comments about St. Lucia's judicial system still stand. Since the same Supreme Court administers justice over indicatable offences in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I expect the same to be true for that nation as well.

Does this mean that the policing standards are the same as we have come to expect in larger centers in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand? Of course not. While Bequia may be the largest of the Grenadines, it is nevertheless a very small island with a total population of what - perhaps 5000 people (although I seem to recall it is less)? Likely your officer was the only one on duty that night and he chose, rightly or wrongly, to suggest that you deal with your wounds first and offered to arrange a taxi to the doctor. The wisdom of that seems to be confirmed by the fact that you required stitches.

Furthermore, as you know, the captial of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a short (I forget, 8 nm.?) ferry ride away and I suspect that all major crimes are investigated out of there. It is also my understanding that over the last couple of years, due to the increase in incidents involving boats such as your own, they have also upped their policing in Admiralty Bay on Bequia. Perhaps others can comment on this.

I have little doubt that they were using a 20 year old typewriter. It also does not surprise me that their grammar left something to be desired - although you might find that grammar is not a strong point of many police officers around the world. To their credit, they did have two officers (who I gather were attired more to your satisfaction) spend two hours with you to take what I can only assume was a detailed report of the incident. I also have little doubt that if the culprit was apprehended, he would have received no better or worse treatment and no greater or lesser rights than the yachter who has been charged on St. Lucia.

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 12:05   #66
Registered User
 
Shrubb's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Saint RaphaŽl [France]
Boat: Catana 48S
Posts: 78
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

As stated by Courju, there was a topic on a French TV channel today, can be watched on following link :http://cote-d-azur.france3.fr/2012/12/24/un-cagnois-emprisonne-sainte-lucie-170217.html


In summary for non-French understanding people, facts were reported by Sommeŕs father, the French ambassador in St Lucia, and one
St Lucia official (didńt understand what position).
The family, after their lawyeŕs advice, wishes to keep low profile in respect to local authorities.
They mostly claim for better detention conditions, which are very bad :
5 men in the same cellar, no light, no hygiene, violence...
After the St Lucia law, there can be no conditional freedom for foreigners and the normal procedure is going on.

__________________
Shrubb (France)
http://cata-shrubb.blogspot.fr/
Shrubb is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 12:15   #67
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Teles, thanks for the update. It sounds as if his lawyer has provided sage advice - apart from expressing legitimate concerns about their holding cells (rather typical, I am afraid, of that part of the world), it is undoubtedly best not to litigate through the media - something which can have the effect of further delaying the process by bringing about a change in venue, if a judge finds that publicity has undermined the ability to find an impartial local jury.
Out of interest, has he retained local counsel or one from off-island?

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 12:30   #68
Registered User
 
SayGudday's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego, California
Boat: Pearson Triton 28 (1960)
Posts: 180
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Just wow. Sobering.
__________________
SayGudday is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 12:34   #69
Registered User
 
neilpride's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in the world
Boat: csy 44 tall rig.
Posts: 3,099
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

The authorities made a autopsy?? .....
__________________
neilpride is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 13:24   #70
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: In prison in St Lucia

I don't actually think unreasonable that a Cruiser or anyone else (in these circumstances) should face hard questions. And whilst it would be nice if the case never progressed from Police enquiry to a court, when someone dies that is also IMO not unreasonable. The downside of living under the rule of law!.......of course that does have a further practical downside where someone is genuinely a flight risk.

The lessons I take from all this is a) don't admit anything / lie and b) get a good lawyer early on (seems that Eric's first lawyer was a shyster ).

Unless the country you are visiting is a vassel state of your own nation, then your Ambassador / Embassy can do little (and unless you are well connected won't be interested either!) except to make sure you are treated in accordance with local laws. The problem is of course that whilst most places have all the laws of civilisation (as "we" do) the reality on the ground does vary.
David_Old_Jersey is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 13:34   #71
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Boat: 40' Silverton Aftcabin with twin Crusaders
Posts: 1,589
Re: In prison in St Lucia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
Yes, really! And I have an inkling that I know a hell of a lot more journalists than do you.

You surely haven't a clue to the so called fair, unbiased journalism by journalists here in the States!
__________________
foggysail is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 14:10   #72
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

DOJ, while I don't particularly disagree with your last post, the ECSJ (Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court) was established in order to maintain not only some consistency, but higher standards throughout the various countries that it serves. Frankly, the qualifications of the judiciary are quite high (as you can imagine there are various experienced judges and barristers from around the world who scramble to apply when there are openings on their bench). Further, there are in certain circumstances (including capital cases) appeals available to, as I recall, the House of Lords in England. I have a friend who sat on the ECSC until recently and I can tell you that it is not merely lip service that is being paid to what you call "all the laws of civilization." What is more, as St. Lucia is where the court is headquartered, I am quite confident that this case will receive the attention that it deserves and that the accused will receive a fair trial.

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 14:55   #73
Registered User
 
kthoennes's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Boat: Carver 3207 Aft Cabin, 32'
Posts: 289
I happen to be a court administrator in "real life" and I can agree wholeheartedly with two of the sentiments above. (1) by far, with a few exceptions so rare that I can name them personally on one hand after 23 years with the courts, most journalists are atrocious, and (2) I can also agree that many of the Caribbean courts are cleanly run and decent. I personally have friends and colleagues a few islands south of St Lucia on Trinidad and Tobago. They're clearly dedicated to just and fair and well-run courts - if anything, more dedicated than a lot of American court bureaucrats since they work under greater logistical challenges.
__________________
kthoennes is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 15:39   #74
Registered User
 
Connemara's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Boat: Mirage 27 in Toronto; Wright 10 in Auckland
Posts: 671
Images: 2
Re: In prison in St Lucia

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
What is their side of the story? Most journalists are not exactly well known for trying to get both sides.

David, David, David .... Been a journalist all my life. What I do is get the facts. I ask people for the facts, I write them up, I print (or post) them. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes no one will talk. Sometimes, and I know this will come as a shock, they lie.

One thing I don't do is knowingly print a story leaving out one side (assuming there are two sides, not three, half a dozen, or one.)

And then you make a broad generalization based on ...? Your belly button, from what I can see. Facts, came there none.

Connemara

After responding, I see other people also leapt on David's post. And others said, oh no, he's right, my experience with the press shows it. Which is, at least, closer to actual facts.

Oddly, I'd say what's the other side?

You say you were misquoted? I'd be willing to bet you weren't, because every reporter these days records every interview. If there's a quote, you can pretty much count on it to be word for word what you said. Now, errors can creep in, but what did the reporter say when you challenged him/her?

You say your position was misinterpreted? Well, could be. Journalism isn't an exact science. Or maybe you weren't clear? Listen to the tape; you might be surprised at how wordy and confusing you actually were. Or maybe you gave a long involved argument that nothing short of a learned journal could have reported without doing violence to your lofty thoughts.

You say they left out the most important stuff? Well, importance is in the eye of the beholder. Ever think that maybe, just maybe, other people needed to have space in the story too? And that there is limited space?

End of rant.

No minds were changed in the making of this post.

But I feel better.

Merry Christmas
__________________
Connemara is offline  
Old 24-12-2012, 15:41   #75
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,511
Re: In Prison in St Lucia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Neil, I am sorry about your experience with the police on Bequia but my comments about St. Lucia's judicial system still stand. Since the same Supreme Court administers justice over indicatable offences in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I expect the same to be true for that nation as well.

Does this mean that the policing standards are the same as we have come to expect in larger centers in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand? Of course not. While Bequia may be the largest of the Grenadines, it is nevertheless a very small island with a total population of what - perhaps 5000 people (although I seem to recall it is less)? Likely your officer was the only one on duty that night and he chose, rightly or wrongly, to suggest that you deal with your wounds first and offered to arrange a taxi to the doctor. The wisdom of that seems to be confirmed by the fact that you required stitches.



Furthermore, as you know, the captial of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a short (I forget, 8 nm.?) ferry ride away and I suspect that all major crimes are investigated out of there. It is also my understanding that over the last couple of years, due to the increase in incidents involving boats such as your own, they have also upped their policing in Admiralty Bay on Bequia. Perhaps others can comment on this.

I have little doubt that they were using a 20 year old typewriter. It also does not surprise me that their grammar left something to be desired - although you might find that grammar is not a strong point of many police officers around the world. To their credit, they did have two officers (who I gather were attired more to your satisfaction) spend two hours with you to take what I can only assume was a detailed report of the incident. I also have little doubt that if the culprit was apprehended, he would have received no better or worse treatment and no greater or lesser rights than the yachter who has been charged on St. Lucia.

Brad

I'm in complete agreement with Neil on a previous post regarding his experience with the police and court systems both here in the USA and south of the USA border. Putting your faith in either is like placing your trust in pixie dust and unicorns. When things get ugly, reality is not like the Hollyweird movies where the good guys come racing to help you... one needs to be able to defend one's self and chase down the bad guys.

I've had way more than my fair share of dealing with criminals... especially during the past two months here in Massachusetts and California.
__________________

__________________
Kenomac is online now  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anchorage in South St Lucia Teej Atlantic & the Caribbean 3 03-01-2012 05:49
Crew Wanted: ARC 2011 Las Palmas to St. Lucia mct Crew Archives 4 26-09-2011 12:54



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:51.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.