Today he appeared before Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel with a new attorney in his corner. Audrey Matura-Shepherd takes over the case from Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith. She told us what the plan is moving forward.
“What happens is that we came here to do what we call case management and I literally just retain on this matter today, and so, clearly, I am not prepared to argue the case. However, we just set dates when we file any amendments I want. We set dates for when there will be any response, when we should have written submissions, and after setting all of those different dates and paper work that actually goes on before we actually go to trial. The new trial date is the 15th day of June at which time, the judge will hear the matter of the capris corpus application to determine whether the detention of Mr. Bruce is lawful”.
Although the case was only recently resolved and has been moving on a faster track than similar extradition cases like those of Rhett Fuller and the Seawell brothers, the court noted that it does recognize the urgency of the case. Unfortunately, as Matura-Shepherd explains, the court’s and her schedule are too full to accomodate an earlier date. Nonetheless, she intends to win Bruce’s freedom.
Ms. Audrey Matura Shepherd: “I agree; it is always urgent, but you don’t want to prejudice the applicant. In this case, if he is letting you counsel, there is need for us to have sufficient time to get full instructions to understand what transpired before and proceed what can change or not change. I won’t go into the details of what our arguments will be because we believe however that we stand a very good chance of challenging the decisions of the magistrate. Otherwise, we would not go to court and otherwise, the previous attorney would not have entered an application. The thing is, with extraditions, what people need to understand is that unfortunately, it takes time because if you were te person being extradited, you would want to exhaust all your possibilities. It’s one thing to face a trial in your own country and it’s another thing to go face the trial in another jurisdiction, especially in a jurisdiction where by their system, we have documents that has already pronounced the person guilty. In our jurisdiction, you are innocent until you are proven guilty”.