By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
THE Haitian man “accidentally” shot in Eleuthera by a police officer during an immigration exercise earlier this month has been charged with illegal entry.
Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell confirmed that 27-year-old Jean-Mary Justilien appeared before a magistrate on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justilien was remanded to prison until he is scheduled to appear in court on September 25, according to Mr Mitchell, who said government records indicated Justilien is an illegal immigrant.
At a press conference yesterday, Mr Mitchell said: “During the immigration and police search operations, based on intelligence where illegal migrants were hiding out, a Haitian male, Jean-Mary Justilien, was apprehended and tried to escape lawful custody which resulted in him obtaining some injury.
“After checking our records,” he said, “he (Justilien) is an illegal immigrant. As a result, he was charged in the Magistrate’s Court for illegal entry.”
Justilien was airlifted to Princess Margaret Hospital after he was shot during an immigration round up in Palmetto Point, Eleuthera, on June 9.
He was taken into police custody on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and an immigration officer in the execution of their duties, according to police in an earlier statement.
Police concluded that the alleged assault resulted in the accidental discharge of the police officer’s service revolver “causing injuries to the face and shoulder of the suspect”.
Last week, officials confirmed that the migrant was being held at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre pending the police investigation.