Court of Appeals rules in 11 cases


07-May-2013

It noted that while violation of the Copyright Act is a criminal offence attracting a five-year jail term and a R30,000 fine, it only protects works first made, performed or published in Seychelles.

Foreign works are not covered unless they are registered for protection through a licensed agent based here.

The Court of Appeal judges said this when they rejected an appeal by the Financial Intelligence Unit against Cyber Space Limited involving internet copyright infringement.

Che Dorasamy lost his appeal against conviction for possession of 2.45 grams of heroin. He was jailed after allegedly leaving Mont Fleuri on his motorcycle only to be stopped at Plaisance by drug control agents who found nothing on his person but asked him to ride in front of their rented car to their New Port office, where the drugs were found after apparently falling off from a small back seat of the bike. He said the drugs were not his and could have been placed there by somebody else.

The court noted that Section 18 of the Misuse of Drugs Act says:

“Where a controlled drug is found in a vehicle, vessel or aircraft it shall be presumed – until the contrary is proved – that the drugs are in the possession of the owner of the vehicle or the person in charge of the vehicle at the time.”

The court said the burden put on the accused in such cases is heavy, but also brought to the attention of the attorney general that in future when drafting an indictment in a case of that nature reference should be made to the Section 18 “in view of the fact that the drugs were found in the vehicle and not on the appellant’s person”.

The court said he cooperated with the officers and at no time tried to run away, and had even helped them remove the seat in actions the defence said were not consistent with guilt.

A pirate who stayed behind to appeal unlike his 10 fellow convicts who went back to Somalia in December on Friday the previous week told the court he was also withdrawing his appeal and will now go home to serve the rest of his sentence there.

Paul and Lucy Chow were ordered to pay R185,000 damages for overstaying in a premises they should have vacated since November 29, 2008 by order of the Supreme Court, the amount being calculated at the rate of R3,500 since then until April 2013.

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