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Two men deny protest charges

Two men yesterday pleaded not guilty to offences related to the protest of December 2.

Chris Furbert Jr, the son of Bermuda Industrial Union president Chris Furbert, and Anthony Burgess denied preventing entry to the House of Assembly.

At a packed Magistrates’ Court, they also pleaded not guilty to interfering with the duties of the Minister of Finance under the Criminal Code Act and not guilty to obstructing officers as they carried out their duties under the Summary Offences Act.

Mr Furbert, 38, of Southampton, and Mr Burgess, 52, of Hamilton, declined to be tried in Magistrates’ Court and will appear at the Supreme Court arraignments session on May 1, before the matter goes to trial. They were released on $1,000 bail.

Those in attendance included the Reverend Nicholas Tweed of the People’s Campaign, Mr Furbert Sr, Bermuda Public Services Union president Jason Hayward and Shadow Attorney-General Michael Scott.

A small gathering of people outside the building included BIU organiser Glenn Simmons, although numbers were significantly down from the 200 who gathered last Friday when six people were charged in connection with December 2. A police presence remained in place.

Last Friday, Mr Furbert Sr, Mr Hayward, Mr Tweed, Mr Simmons, Neville Goddard and Lilymay Bulford all denied charges of blocking access to the House of Assembly and obstructing police.

In total, 11 people have now been charged in connection with the protests. Others who received summonses are expected to be formally charged tomorrow.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case