Missing man case adjourned


Tribune Chief Reporter


THE habeas corpus application for a “missing” man who relatives believe was taken into police custody was adjourned to next month after the government was late filing its response.

Crown lawyer Ryan Sands told the court the police file and related submissions had been prepared but could not be filed ahead of court proceedings because the court’s registrar was not present yesterday morning.

Supreme Court Justice Andrew Forbes adjourned the matter until March 14 to allow for a review of those files, during which time counsel for Mr Pratt can also file additional documents.

During proceedings, Mr Sands was asked by the judge for a summation of the government’s filing, which he stated contained an affidavit from Chief Superintendent of Police Solomon Cash, and related documents indicating police attempts to locate Mr Pratt.

Mr Sands said the files demonstrated Mr Pratt was known to police but had not been apprehended, placed under arrest or in custody on December 5, 2018.

He further claimed Mr Pratt’s mother Barbara Saunders had initially filed a missing persons report with police, suggesting the habeas corpus application was a last resort.

Counsel for Mr Pratt, Callenders & Co lawyer Crispin Hall objected to this statement, and called for the statement to be included as evidence if it was the government’s position.

However, Justice Forbes advised it was not part of the record as he had only asked Mr Sands for a summation of the government’s response.

Ms Saunders took exception to Mr Sands’ comments outside court, telling media she never filed a missing person report for her son.

She insisted she visited the police station in search of her son because she believed he was in police custody.

The habeas corpus application is seeking to compel the Royal Bahamas Police Force to produce the 40-year-old Gambier Village resident police deny having in custody.

Mr Pratt’s family insists Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) officers arrested him on December 5, 2018, a claim Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson has denied.

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