Volcère pleads afresh today after charge added


26-January-2012

Mr Volcère is accused under section 114 of the Penal Code of (i) attempting to prejudice Court of Appeal judge Matilda Twomey, (ii) calculating to lower her authority and (iii) showing intentional disrespect to the judicial proceedings in which the Court of Appeal was hearing the Popular Democratic Movement’s petition against a ruling of the Constitutional Court.

He allegedly did so through an article he published on December 9 under the heading: Dirty tactics to get David Pierre into the Assembly.

Last month Mr Volcère pleaded not guilty to the three counts but is expected to plead afresh to them today, and to the new one which the attorney general’s office said is a contempt of court charge under common law as contained in the English Law, which the office is using “because Seychelles does not have a Contempt of Court Act”.

Judge Duncan Gaswaga adjourned the case yesterday to give the defence team, now made up of lawyers Philippe Boullé and Frank Elizabeth, Anthony Derjacques and Joel Camille time to study the new charge before Mr Volcère can plead.

The lawyers earlier complained security personnel were denying members of the public access into the courtroom, which Mr Gaswaga said was “an open court”.

He summoned the man in charge of the police officers on duty in and outside the court and told him they should allow as many interested members of the public as the court could take as long as seats were available, after which more people entered and heard the proceedings for a few minutes before the court adjourned.

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