Murder retrial postponed

Monday, 20 September, was to have been the start of a re-trial for Josue Carillo-Perez on the charge of murdering Martin Gareau in May 2008.

However, Attorney Anthony Akiwumi advised Justice Algernon Smith on Friday that he had received permission to apply for leave to appeal to Privy Council.

The appeal is against the March 2010 order of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal for a re-trial after the Crown appealed his acquittal. Perez elected trial by judge alone and was found not guilty in October 2009.

The higher court ruled that Justice Roy Anderson had misdirected himself as to the standard of proof in cases of murder.

Justice Anderson had described as plausible a theory of how “this vile act” was committed. He then continued: “Plausibility, however, is not an adequate basis for a criminal conviction and certainly the standard is enhanced when the charge is one of murder.”

The Court of Appeal stated, “There is only one standard of proof — proof beyond reasonable doubt — in criminal trials.” The court found the Grand Court judge was wrong in law in the direction he gave himself on the standard of proof.

Mr. Akiwumi had argued that the judge was only reinforcing what he had already said correctly several times.

On Friday he told the court that while the Privy Council would hear the application in October, he did not know if its decision would be given then or later. He therefore suggested that the matter be mentioned again on 26 November and Crown Counsel Jenesha Simpson agreed.

Perez was released from prison after his acquittal but was placed back in custody after the Court of Appeal decision.

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