Lawyer To Be Reported To Bar Council
Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall chastised prosecutors in the double murder trial of Henry Hugh Smith, saying he would reeport senior lawyer Albertha Bartlett to the Bar Council.
Prosecutors on the double murder trial of Henry Hugh Smith were chastised by Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall yesterday, resulting in his decision to report senior lawyer Albertha Bartlett to the Bar Council.
As proceedings got underway on Monday, Kalen Ward was called to the witness stand.
She was arrested by the police on Saturday after failing to attend court last week.
Miss Ward explained to Chief Justice Hall that she was at court last Tuesday, but when she was not called to testify she went home where she waited to be called by the prosecution to return to court.
Chief Justice Hall pointed out that her subpoena said she should be available to the court throughout the case until excused by the judge.
As Miss Ward began to give testimony, she told the court that her six-year-old daughter, Kenya, is the daughter of the accused, Smith.
However, as prosecutor Jacqueline Forbes-Foster tried to put more questions to the witness, Chief Justice Hall asked, "How is any of this admissible?"
Failing to give the judge a satisfactory answer, Mrs. Forbes-Foster was severely criticised by him.
He expresseed concern that evidence that was "irrelevant and inadmissible was sought to be led, but more importantly on the application of the Crown, this young lady had spent the weekend in custody.
"That is an abuse of your authoprity as an officer of the Attorney Genberal and as an officer of the court and I intend to make a report to the Bar Council. This is inexcusable, inexcusable," he said.
After the mid-morning break, Chief Justice Hall had checked his records and told the court that it was Mrs. Forbes-Foster's senior, Albertha Bartlett, who had signed the application for Miss Ward's arrest and that she was the one he would report to the Bar Council.
Ms. Bartlett is sharing the brief in this case and appears with Mrs. Forbes-Foster.
Chief Justice Hall told the prosecutors that he ahd warned them on several occassions about the relevance of the testimonies of their witnesses. He adjourned early last week, advising counsel to review their case after he had to question the relevance and admissibility of several witnesses called by the crown.
He apologised to the witness on behalf of the State as she was "detained unncessarily" for three days.
Miss Ward was told she may wish to seek counsel in view of the situation. He expressed regret at having signed the warrant for her arrest.
By: Felicity Ingraham, Tribune Staff Reporter