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RBDF hearings to resume Nov. 28

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Oct 28, 2013

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The hearings into the alleged abuse of a group of Cuban detainees by defence force marines at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre will resume on November 28, according to attorney Wayne Munroe.

Munroe represents five marines who were charged last month with causing harm and causing a wound under care.

The men are accused of abusing the detainees after some of them attempted to escape from the facility.

Munroe said he wrote to the captain of the Coral Harbour base last week asking if he would allow three independent observers to sit in on the hearings.

Retired Justice Cheryl Albury, former Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Commander Leon L. Smith and Bahamas Christian Council President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson were appointed to observe the hearings, the government previously announced.

Munroe said if the three are allowed to sit in, he would file a judicial review intended to prevent that.

The matter began on September 30 at the Coral Harbour base.

During that hearing, Munroe requested further records and materials.

He has since received what he said are incomplete medical records and photographs of the Cuban detainees who alleged they were abused at the detention center.

He said he has also requested CCTV footage of the night in question.

Immigration Director William Pratt said the CCTV system was not operational during the alleged incident. He noted though that the system is in place now.

The allegations set off a firestorm of controversy and protests from a group of Miami-based protestors who labeled the incident as an “abuse of power”.

An RBDF officer, who is also a lawyer, is prosecuting the matter.

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