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Drug-trafficking trial aborted after jury Covid outbreak

The trial of a Canadian man charged with smuggling almost $700,000 of cannabis and cocaine into the island was aborted after three jury members tested positive for Covid-19.

Alexta Gill is charged with importing 9,742 grams of cannabis and 800 grams of liquid cocaine after arriving on a flight from Toronto in March last year. The drugs had a street value of $676,736.

Mr Gill’s trial began two weeks ago and the Crown closed its case last Thursday. The jury was expected to be sent out to consider its verdict yesterday after Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe had concluded his directions.

However, before the session could begin, one juror contacted the court to inform officials that they had tested positive for Covid-19.

The remaining 11 jurors were then asked to take a Covid test. Seven tested negative for the virus, two tested positive and two declined to be tested.

Mr Justice Wolffe concluded that, because of the “epidemic”, he had no choice but to dismiss the jury and abort the trial.

A new trial with a fresh jury has been scheduled for the end of September.

Mr Gill’s bail was extended.

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