‘Insane’ Freddie Kissoon can face jail time for contempt of court

first_img… sub judice rule prohibits public discussion of ongoing casesInsane’ Freddie Kissoon could face up to one month jail time for contempt of court. This comes in light of Kissoon’s public discussion of a case, which is currently before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Freddie KissoonKissoon’s ramblings about the case in tabloid-like newspaper Kaieteur News constitutes sub judice, as the matter is under judicial consideration and, therefore, prohibited from public discussion. As such, his actions can now interfere with the administration of justice. The Magistrate also has discretion to make a gag order to avoid a trial by the press. Lord Justice Watkins in Peacock v London Weekend Television (1985) 150 J.P. 71 at p. 80, said: “In our land we do not allow trial by television or newspaper. Until the well-recognised institution of this country for the doing of justice, namely the courts, have worked their course, then the hand of the writer and the voice of the broadcaster must be still.”Kissoon’s sanity was questioned last week when he failed to demonstrate comprehension of basic questions by a defence attorney during a cross-examination in a case for which he was a witness. On several occasions, the presiding Magistrate in that case has to caution Kissoon after he kept ranting at every question asked. The lawyer experienced great difficulties securing direct answers from Kissoon, who opted to respond to every question philosophically. His responses seemed to entertain persons in the courtroom as there were chuckles every time he answered.As such, the lawyer in his submissions to the court questioned Kissoon’s sanity, pointing out to the court that his evidence should be withdrawn, since he has proven on several occasions that he was incompetent to stand trial. According to Section 49 of the Evidence Act, a witness is incompetent if in the opinion of the court if he is prevented by memory lapse from recollecting the matter on which he is supposed to testify, from understanding the questions put to him, from giving rational answers to those questions, or from knowing that he ought to speak the truth. Under cross-examination Kissoon repeatedly stated that he was unable to recollect certain important matters, he was unable to understand simple questions and instead of answering questions, went off on a tangent about philosophy and semantics.Importantly, when questioned about his knowing that he affirmed to tell the whole truth, he denied ever making such an affirmation. Guyana Times understands that legal luminaries have advised Kissoon to take his mediation on a regular basis.last_img

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