Defence queries definition of ‘explosives’

Charges filed in importation case

Port of George Town Grand Cayman 2 main
Updated 11.30am Thursday: At a court appearance Thursday, the defence in an explosives importation case questioned whether the imported materials, by themselves, could be considered “explosives” as defined under the Cayman Islands Explosives Law.

Defence attorney Nicholas Dixey, representing defendant Suresh Bhemsein Prasad and Midland Acres Ltd., and Crown Counsel James told the court each side is being advised by an expert in the field.

The report of the Crown’s expert was expected to be ready by Tuesday, but Mr. Dixey suggested that the experts might be able to discuss the issues sooner.

On that basis, Magistrate Valdis Foldats set the matter to come before the court again on Friday.

The law defines “explosive” as a substance or combination of substances which are chemically or physically unstable or are kept in a manner by which they can readily be rendered unstable so that, upon the application of heat, detonation or other triggering agent or device they are liable violently to disintegrate, chemically or physically, with shattering destructive effect.

The definition includes any substance declared to be an explosive by regulation made under the Explosives Law.

Earlier story:Charges have been filed under the Cayman Islands Explosives Law [2008] in connection with an importation of alleged explosives case that occurred in Grand Cayman earlier this year.

The explosives, according to the details of charges examined by the Caymanian Compass, were “unlawfully imported” by Midland Acres Ltd. and Suresh Prasad in person.

The case grabbed headlines earlier this year after Royal Cayman Islands Police stated Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush had been involved “in the periphery” of the investigation, although Mr. Bush was not mentioned at all in the charges filed before the court.

According to details of the charges against Midland Acres Ltd:

“Suresh Bhemsein Prasad, a director of Midland Acres Ltd and on behalf of Midland Acres Ltd on 23 February, 2012, at Owen Roberts International Airport not being authorised in writing by the managing director of the National Roads Authority in that behalf unlawfully imported explosives, to wit 100 electric detonators and 2,500 non-electric detonators, all weighing a total of 890 pounds (net).

“Suresh Bhemsein Prasad, a director of Midland Acres Ltd and on behalf of Midland Acres Ltd on or about 24 February, 2012, at the Port Authority Docks, George Town, not being authorised in writing by the managing director of the National Roads Authority in that behalf unlawfully imported explosives, to wit, 2,000 units of nitro-methane Kinepak Liquid all weighing a total of 480 pounds (net).

“Suresh Bhemsein Prasad, a director of Midland Acres Ltd and on behalf of Midland Acres Ltd on or about 24 February, 2012, at the Port Authority Docks, George Town, not being authorised in writing by the managing director of the National Roads Authority in that behalf unlawfully imported explosives, to wit an emulsion containing Ammonium Nitrate and Petroleum Distillates all weighing a total of 50,000 pounds (net).

“Suresh Bhemsein Prasad, a director of Midland Acres Ltd and on behalf of Midland Acres Ltd on 28 February, 2012, at Owen Roberts International Airport not being authorised in writing by the managing director of the National Roads Authority in that behalf unlawfully imported explosives, to wit Ammonium Nitrate – Kinepax Solid all weighing a total of 1,734 pounds (net).”

A separate set of four charges were filed against defendant Suresh Bhemsein Prasad personally. The details of the charges were exactly the same.

Crown Counsel Candia James said Wednesday that there were ongoing discussions regarding “the way forward in this matter”.

“We have further investigations ongoing,” she said Wednesday.

Defence attorney Nicholas Dixey said Wednesday that Mr. Prasad had been bailed to attend court on 19 September, but the matter was brought forward at the defence request.

“The matter is time sensitive,” Mr. Dixey said, noting that the materials had a shelf life of six months and there was concern about their possible deterioration.
 

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The George Town Port docks, where two of the four dynamite shipments to Midland Acres Ltd. were brought in last February.
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