Assault charges against A&V CEO dismissed

Monday, July 15, 2019 - 13:00

The assault charges laid against the Chief Executive Officer of A&V Oil and Gas Limited, Hanif Baksh, and his son-in-law, Bill Ramsundar, were dismissed Monday at the Siparia Magistrates' Court.

Senior Magistrate Margaret Alert agreed to have the charges dismissed following a request made by Baksh's attorney, Senior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj.

Maharaj asked the court to discharge the accused persons due to the prosecution's unpreparedness for the matter to move to trial.

According to Maharaj, the prosecution had two years in which to prepare including a 6-month notice from January 2019.

He accused them of "making a mockery of the orders of the court".

The A&V boss and his son in law were charged on November 8th, 2017.

Both men were accused of assaulting Guardian photographer Kristian De Silva on September 15th, 2017 on A&V's compound at Nazim Avenue, San Francique, Penal.

Maharaj says the 2017 prosecutions were called up over the last two years on several occasions and that on each occasion, an application was made to have the case postponed.

In her ruling on Monday, Alert said there were no good reasons advanced by the prosecution to get a further adjournment to proceed.

- by Bavita Gopaulchan