St. Kitts and Nevis Magistrate Court is in turmoil after Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Valston Graham stopped his staff from appearing before Magistrate Donna Harris, a sister of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris.
The incident has seemingly underscored strained relations between members of the legal fraternity and the magistrate, spanning years.
According to an eyewitness, the matters on Monday morning, February 4, escalated when Magistrate Donna Harris instructed five co-accused who were appearing before the Court for the first time to plead.
However, this procedure is wrong since these were indictable matters.
Crown Counsel Mr. Teshaun Vasquez tried on several occasions to bring this to the attention of Magistrate Harris, but she refused to hear him.
Harris ordered Vasquez to sit and eventually ordered him to leave her court room.
It was reported that DPP Graham after receiving a report of the matter made the decision that the Crown Counsel’s ejection was unlawful and therefore no prosecutor or court orderly will attend Magistrate Harris’ Court until further notice.
It is understood that DPP Graham has written to acting senior magistrate Reynold Benjamin requesting an urgent meeting to have the matter ventilated.