October 02, 2012 8:39 AM
BELAIR -Security was at a maximum Monday morning at Belair Community Centre. Despite the fact that none of the seven suspects wished to attend the hearing, the centre was well guarded by a host of police officers, including three sharpshooters on the roof. Crush barriers cordoned off the premises, virtually closing down business at the adjacent fitness club.
The trial was moved from the courthouse in Philipsburg for security reasons to the Belair Community Center.
Inside the improvised courtroom, adorned by the traditional picture of Head of State Queen Beatrix, three attorneys convened with the Prosecutor's Office to discuss the progress in this case under the supervision of Judge Rick Smid.
Seven suspects: A.S.D. (30), A.O.W.A. (35), C.A.R. (30), D.D.T. (25), E.D.W.L. (29), E.S.C.M. (34) and C.E.F. (36) have been charged with membership of a criminal organisation involved with murder, drugs, firearms and car theft, in this case.
The seven defendants had waived their rights to be present at Monday's hearing. Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos had said last week Wednesday the Prosecutor's Office would request the court to postpone the start of the actual trial until Monday 15 October.
The trial's start has been pushed back to allow the hearing of additional witnesses by the Judge of Instruction.
Suspect B.C., who is considered to be the organiser of the Amador Jones murder, has been heard by a judge of instruction in Guadeloupe last week. The Prosecutor's Office also requested the extradition of B.C. from Guadeloupe, where he was detained in connection with another murder.
Attorneys-at-law Ralph Richardson, Cor Merx and Peggy-Ann Brandon requested transcriptions and records of several telephone conversations to be added to their clients' case files.
The large-scale Vesuvius investigations involve the killing of four persons, while several others had been shot at. The hearings are expected to take two full weeks.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, a "gang war" started after Amador Jones was shot and killed near Under the Sun snack bar on Gladiola Road on 16 April 2011, in retaliation after he stole 10 kilos of cocaine from Cappuccino Bar owner Miguel Arrindell.
Miguel Arrindell was "liquidated" on 25 May 2011, while he was walking his dog in an open area along Waterfront Road.
Other victims include Arrindell's brother Rodolfo, Eric Lake and Kevin Gumbs.
The trial's starting date had originally been set for 6 June, but was postponed until 1 October, because investigations were still continuing, additional witnesses needed to be heard and telephone taps needed to be analysed in depth. Results of ballistic and DNA investigations by the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) had also not yet been received.
(The Daily Herald)