Ex-MLA gets Grand Court trial

Former Sister Islands MLA Lyndon Martin will face a Grand Court trial, a date for which is likely to be set in October, on seven separate charges which are related to allegations made against him in an ongoing misconduct probe involving the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

Mr. Martin was charged earlier this year with burglary, doing an act intending to pervert the course of public justice and five charges of falsely accusing another of a crime.

Five other charges of making a false report of commission of an offence against Mr. Martin will be dealt with in Summary Court.

Mr. Martin appeared in Summary Court Thursday for a preliminary inquiry in the case.

Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale said the inquiry had initially been set for long-form, which means certain evidence would have been discussed and witnesses examined during the proceedings. However, Mrs. Ramsay-Hale stated that Mr. Martin’s attorneys had opted for short-form inquiry instead and that the Crown had agreed to that.

A Crown witness who had been flown in from the United Kingdom and appeared at the hearing was dismissed shortly after Magistrate Ramsay-Hale indicated that the witness’s evidence would not need to be given in person for the preliminary inquiry.

Defence attorney Ben Tonner said it was his intent to bring the seven charges described previously to the Grand Court for trial. The five charges of making a false report are ‘Class C’ offences and therefore would not be heard before the Grand Court.

Solicitor General Cheryll Richards read the names of 15 witnesses who gave statements in the case, which had been presented to the court. Ms Richards also noted that there were other physical tapes in the matter that had not yet been released by investigating officers.

Mr. Martin was informed of his right to have his attorneys cross examine witnesses during trial and was asked by Mrs. Ramsay-Hale whether he wished to make a statement.

‘Not at this time,’ Mr. Martin said.

Magistrate Ramsay-Hale then extended Mr. Martin’s bail and said his trial date would be set sometime in the next session of the Grand Court, which is scheduled to begin on 1 October.