Jury chosen for CNB robbery trial

After three days of selection, 12 jurors were chosen Thursday for the trial of four men charged in connection with the June 28, 2012 robbery of the Buckingham Square branch of Cayman National Bank in which $502,436.17 was stolen.

David Tamasa, Rennie Cole, George Mignott and Andre Burton are charged with robbery. The defendants are also charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit robbery. Burton is also charged with being an accessory after the fact by driving a getaway car. All four pleaded not guilty.

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards was scheduled to open the case to the panel of four men and eight women on Thursday afternoon, but legal submissions in chambers meant that jurors were excused until Friday morning.

Jury selection started on Monday with approximately 92 people. In addition to standard questions asked of potential jurors, Justice Ingrid Mangatal asked if they, or a family member, worked for Cayman National Bank or any bank in the Cayman Islands, or at WestStar TV, the police or the prison service.

She also asked potential jurors to declare if they had any close connection to anyone involved in the CNB or WestStar trials in 2013.

They were also asked if they had any connection to any of the defendants or their families, and to declare whether they knew any of the 79 witnesses for the trial.

Many potential jurors were excused because they or a relative worked for CNB or another bank. Others had connections with the police or prison service. Several knew one of the defendants or one of his family members. At least two people were excused on medical grounds.

The Judicature Law provides for a 12-person jury in cases of murder, treason and money laundering. Indictments for other offenses are tried by seven jurors. However, if the judge is of the opinion that the trial will be complex, the judge may order that it be tried by a jury of 12.