Basseterre, St Kitts, May 13, 2019 – Several journalists in St Kitts and Nevis were Tuesday locked out of the Magistrate’s Court in Basseterre in contravention of the laws of the twin-island federation.
The reporters were barred from entering the Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial and Legal Services Complex while billionaire Alkiviades David was answering to his bail hearing.
Kyss 102.5 FM reported in its evening newscast Tuesday that Section 75 of the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act 3.17 provides that the court house shall be an open court where the Magistrate’s sits and this shall apply to all criminal proceedings except preliminary enquiries.
Court security personnel informed journalists that they would not be allowed to enter the building.
One journalist reported that when he questioned why the media was being denied access to the court he was “physically pushed out of the building by the employee.”
Journalists were misled when they were told that the court was closed to them as it was hearing a “P.I”, a preliminary inquiry.
Alkiviades David’s bail conditions were eventually changed because of new information in the investigation, according to reliable sources.
Bail has now been set at EC$300,000 (cash bail), according to persons familiar with the case.
David has since been detained until bail conditions are met.
His Worship Reynold Benjamin was the presiding magistrate in the case.
David was charged with possession with intent to supply, possession of controlled drugs and importation of a controlled drug into the federation. The initial conditions of his bail were a cash bail of $30,000 to be paid forthwith, a sum of $50,000 with two sureties, ordered to surrender all travel documents and ordered to report to the Frigate Bay Police Station daily.
The charges came as a result of an investigation launched on May 07, 2019 into the circumstances surrounding material suspected to be cannabis on a private aircraft.