The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, refused Montserrat's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Oris Sullivan's bid to retry Attorney-at-Law Warren Cassell.
Attorney Cassell, who previously had his convictions quashed by the Privy Council, found himself back in Court in a bid to fend off this latest bid to have him retried by Montserrat's DPP.
The Privy Council, in its last ruling, had indicated that any matter to do with a retrial was down to the local courts.
Thus, the matter came back to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal. DPP Sullivan argued in Court that a retrial was necessary in order to establish guilt or innocence of the charges against Attorney Cassell.
MNI Alive understands that during the DPP's oral presentation to the Court, acting President of Appeal, Justice Louise Blenman, asked for a case law where a retrial was re-ordered once time has already been served. On this request, DPP Sullivan was unable to provide one.
Cassell’s Legal Representative, Attorney Dr. David Dorsett argued that Cassell had already served a full two year sentence, and a retrial would serve no purpose, since he cannot be sentenced for any time more than the sentence past, in the first trial.
Justice Mario Michel, in delivering an oral unanimous ruling, noted that there were several factors that the court ought to consider in deciding whether to order a retrial. These were:
Seriousness of offence
Nature of offence
Strength of evidence against the appellant
Publicity which the trial had obtained and whether it would operate to prejudice the appellant; and
Interest of justice
Justice Michel further established that Attorney Warren Cassell had already served his full sentence, and that the DPP had failed to provide any case law where a person had served all of their sentence, and was still retried. Thus, the final ruling was that it was not in the interest of justice to order a retrial.