Magistrate wants ‘friend’ pulled from case

  • Drafted in: Cayman Islands Magistrate Valdis Foldats (Photograph by Carol Winker/Cayman Compass)

    Drafted in: Cayman Islands Magistrate Valdis Foldats (Photograph by Carol Winker/Cayman Compass)

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said he was not comfortable being prosecuted by his friend and former boss, a court heard yesterday.

Mr Tokunbo has denied a charge that he refused a breath test on January 19.

Yesterday his lawyer, Charles Richardson, argued in Magistrates’ Court that lawyer Saul Froomkin should not represent the Crown because he has a history with Mr Tokunbo.

Mr Richardson said: “The bottom line is this: my client is simply not comfortable with being prosecuted and cross-examined by his former boss, his former lawyer and his friend.”

He told the court that until recently the defence believed the Crown would be represented by Crown counsel Alan Richards.

However, Larry Mussenden, the Director of Public Prosecutions, had sought to bring in overseas counsel to handle the case, a proposal rejected by the Bermuda Bar Council, after local counsel had recused themselves. Mr Froomkin, who does not usually sit for the Crown, was then brought in to handle the case.

Mr Richardson said Mr Tokunbo did not object to the use of a local prosecutor, but the court must be careful to avoid perceived conflicts of interests.

He added: “There is too much at stake for my client.”

Mr Froomkin objected to the application by Mr Richardson. Cayman Islands magistrate Valdis Foldats, brought to the island to oversee the case, adjourned the matter until tomorrow for the council to make more detailed submissions.

Mr Foldats was Called to the Bar in Canada in 1984 and prior to moving to the Cayman in 1999.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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