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CCJ dismisses appeal

Dionicio Salazar was convicted of murder in May 2016 stemming from an incident that ended the life of Marlon Rivera.  Since then he has appealed to the Court of Appeals but his conviction remained.  The case made it to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which rendered its ruling this morning.  Anthony Sylvestre represented Salazar in his appeal; he briefed the media on the outcome.

Attorney Anthony Sylvestre: “The CCJ, they confirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal and what the Court of Appeal had done. It had dismissed his appeal in relation to the conviction and they had allowed this appeal in relation to sentence so now he has to be taken back to the Supreme Court and given the new sentencing provisions related to persons who are convicted for murder. Then he will now be resentenced so whilst previously he was sentenced to a finite life sentence now he would be able to receive if the judge who hears his matter with such a view receive a fixed term whether a fix term is 30 years or 25 years or whatever the case may be so that is the next stage of this process.”

According to Sylvestre, he sought the appeal on two grounds; one had to do with the deposition of Dean Dougal, a deceased witness.

Attorney Anthony Sylvestre: “The grounds of appeals they were specific to this case but they were also of importance to practitioners. Generally what I obtain is that in the trial of the appellant there was a statement which was admitted to evidence and that statement was recorded by a Police Officer. Our view was that the statement, the trial judge ought to have given her directions, made and consider fact that the statement was maybe recorded in front of a Police officer as opposed to an Independent Judicial Officer and then the second ground of Appeal related to a transcript from a previous trial which was admitted into evidence or found its way to the judge but the fact is the Court of Appeal found that, that was in fact was an regularity that ought not to have been but it felt well once an irregularity did not raise to the level that would prejudice or substantially affected his trial.”

Rivera was shot on June 13, 2010 in front of Belmoral Hotel on Burns Avenue in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District.  The case was won for the prosecution after they had called eight witnesses and relied on the deposition of the deceased witness..