Labrador investigation/trial conducted with transparency:
BVI Governor says -
The Governor's Office, in a press release dated April 8th, 2003, reiterated
the British Virgin Islands' position in relation to the territory's
continued history of respect for the rule of law and the equal treatment of
all persons before the law.
"The investigation, trial and conviction of William Labrador for the murder
of Lois McMillen, had been conducted with transparency and in accordance
with the established laws of the territory and so has been the case with
the conduct of his appeals before the Court of Appeal and the Privy
Council, culminating in the quashing of his conviction," the release stated.
It continued: "It is in this respect that upon receiving the judgment of
the Privy Council that the process was immediately initiated for the
release of Labrador. We are grateful for the Privy Council's careful
scrutiny of this case. It is worthy of note that on the major issue
deciding the appeal (the warning to be given for the evidence of a cell
confession), a new principle has been stated. On that issue, the Court of
Appeal's decision had been considered to be quite in line with prevailing
authority. This new statement of the law will no doubt benefit the entire
Commonwealth in the development of its jurisprudence.
The territory's legal and judicial systems have been rested from time to
time. On each occasion they have been shown to work and it remains the
resolve of this territory to ensure continued fairness in its justice
process. It is for this very reason that there is in place an appropriate
appeals process of which the territory can be justly proud. It is important
to note that nothing in the Privy Council's decision allowing the appeal of
William Labrador and Alexander Benedetto casts any doubt on the system of
administration of justice in the British Virgin Islands.
Accordingly, the British Virgin Islands remains a jurisdiction that
continues to uphold the rule of law and thus to apply the law of the
territory with diligence and to all manner of persons without fear or
favour. The territory's determination in fully implementing its laws has to
date ensured the very low level of crime within our community. The
government continues to advise all residents and visitors alike to be law
abiding and to do its best to ensure a safe environment for all."
The release from the Governor's Office went on to say that in light of the
Privy Council's decision, the Attorney General would no longer proceed with
the charge of conspiracy to pervert the court of justice against Michael
Spicer and Alexander Benedetto. A Nolle Prosequi was entered in the High
Court on 9th April 2003.
2003 by SUN ENTERPRISES (B.V.I.) LTD.
PUBLISHERS OF THE
ISLAND SUN Newspaper. All rights reserved.