By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAGISTRATE dropped charges against Omar Archer yesterday after police officers failed to attend a hearing, Mr Archer’s lawyers say.
Fred Smith, legal director of Rights Bahamas, represents Mr Archer. The human rights group said in a statement: “The charges against activist Omar Archer were dismissed this morning for want of prosecution. Archer had been charged with assaulting a police officer in April 2018, however all police witnesses failed to show up in Magistrate’s Court #11 for today’s hearing. Bench warrants were issued for relevant officers.”
A representative from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said that office was not responsible for the matter and referred The Tribune to police prosecutors.
Chief Superintendent of Police Solomon Cash said he would find out if it was Central Detective Unit officers who were supposed to attend the hearing.
“I hope it’s not CDU,” he said. “If it were CDU I would have some concern. I will seek to find out what happened and if they are CDU officers I will deal with that.”
Mr Archer has had run-ins with law enforcement over the years.
In 2015, he jumped from the second floor window of the South Street Court Complex, breaking his legs after police tried to question him in reference to a complaint made against him a month earlier.
In 2017, he was convicted of making contemptuous comments about Supreme Court Justice Cheryl Grant Thompson.
That same year he was convicted of threatening to harm a senior police officer through a post he made through social media nearly four years ago. He has appealed that conviction.
Mr Archer was a vocal supporter of the Free National Movement during the 2017 general election season.
Last year he was made registrar under the Construction Contractors Act. Critics accused the Minnis administration of cronyism for giving him the post.