Media Denied Access to Start of Drug Bust Trial as Court Relocates
Reporters were denied access this morning to cover the court proceedings of the 12 men being tried for the 2021 drug bust in Bladen Village, Toledo District. The trial began today, but the matter was relocated to the Charles Bartlett Hyde building on Mahogany Street, due to the need for a more spacious layout for the trial. Since it is the family court facilities that the case is using, it turns out that the media was not allowed inside, as is the norm for family court matters. However, this is not a family court matter, and despite the news directors for three media houses, including Love News, reaching out to the Director of the Family Court, the Chief Magistrate, and the Chief Justice, we were unable to observe today’s opening of the trial. The matter was adjourned at around eleven o’clock this morning, and upon exiting, Attorney Oscar Selgado explained that the matter has since been resolved.
Oscar Selgado, Attorney: “We have moved from the official venue of the court on Coney Drive to the Charles Bartlett building on Mahogany Street Extension and this is because the court on Coney Drive is small and it cannot accommodate the amount of defendants nor the five defense attorneys plus the prosecutors in this matter. So the court had asked for the assistance of the family court department that has graciously allowed us to use this building. The reason the media was not allowed in this morning is because nobody had, no prosecutor nor the court, had informed the family court that the media would have wanted to be there and the family court just had concerns because the area that we’re using is the third floor of the Charles Bartlett building and this is an administrative area, it is staff only area so that there were no security put in place to escort the media up and down into and out of the court but that has been cleared up. The learned Senior Magistrate has indicated that the media is to be allowed, these are public hearings, these hearings are to be done in the public domain and so the media is allowed to come back on Monday the 12th when the trial will continue.”
The Family Court was relocated from its Bishop Street office to the Complex building in October of 2023.