Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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St Vincent: Opposition activists to appear in court

August 16, 2021

Two opposition activists in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are due to appear in court later on Monday, after they were each slapped with four charges late Sunday.

Adriana King and Kenson King were detained by police last Friday and their attorney, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste told  the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that her clients were each charged that on July 29, at Kingstown, they did organise or were concerned with organising a public procession, without notifying the Commissioner of Police at least 24 hours prior.

She said another count of the same charge was brought against the duo, allegedly committed in Kingstown on August 5.

The two were also each charged that on the same dates – July 29 and August 5 – in Kingstown, they did knowingly take part in a public procession or meeting, in contravention of the Section 5(1) and Section 5(2) of the Public Order Act.

But Bacchus-Baptiste described the charges as “vindictive” and “without relevance,” saying “first of all, it was a protest, so that the Public Order Act has no application.

“But, in any event, they (the police) were notified. They obviously were notified and came very prepared and they, themselves, directed the protesters where to go. They put out barricades and told them to go there.

“They controlled the entire protest. They marched around town with them. If they went around town five times, the police went with them five times. So how can they come now and bring these charges? It makes no sense,” she said, adding that there was an abuse of process as it relates to 34 year-old Kenson King.

Bacchus-Baptiste said that he was charged after the expiration of the 48 hours in which police could legally detain someone without charge.

The charges against Adrianna, 42, were brought when the 48 hours was about to expire, Bacchus-Baptiste said, adding that the duo was, up to .00 pm (local time on Sunday, still in police custody as Bacchus-Baptiste was awaiting a reply to her request for station bail for them.

The two opposition activists were arrested, on Friday, as part of an “incitement” investigation, the attorney said.

Kenson and Adriana are cousins, who were among some 11 alleged opposition supporters whose homes police raided on August 7, two days after Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves was injured while walking among protesters on his way back to Parliament.

Gonsalves had to be flown to Barbados for further medical treatment. He suffered a concussion.

The police went to the homes of some 11 persons, carrying warrants authorising searches for unlicensed firearms and ammunition, documents and electronic devices.

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