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Reporter shut out of Magistrate’s Court

- told temporary space was too small to fit persons other than those settling matters
The Magistrate's Court was relocated to the Conservation and Fisheries Department on the second floor of the Quastisky Building located at the roundabout in Road Town due to construction still taking place at the building that houses the House of Assembly (HoA). Photo: VINO
The current situation at the building that houses the High Court of the Virgin Islands, today Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Photo: VINO
The current situation at the building that houses the High Court of the Virgin Islands, today Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Photo: VINO
Despite repairs still taking place at the House of Assembly (HoA), Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert announced on Friday, February 16, 2018 in a government press release that the Magistrate’s Court will commence criminal sittings in the upstairs chamber of the HoA on February 20, 2018. Photo: VINO
Despite repairs still taking place at the House of Assembly (HoA), Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert announced on Friday, February 16, 2018 in a government press release that the Magistrate’s Court will commence criminal sittings in the upstairs chamber of the HoA on February 20, 2018. Photo: VINO
Construction workers have been working tirelessly to get the House of Assembly back up and running since the hurricane of September 2017. Photo: VINO
Construction workers have been working tirelessly to get the House of Assembly back up and running since the hurricane of September 2017. Photo: VINO
Repairs taking place inside the home of the House of Assembly (HoA) in Road Town, Tortola. Photo: VINO
Repairs taking place inside the home of the House of Assembly (HoA) in Road Town, Tortola. Photo: VINO
Electrical work still taking place inside the House of Assembly that was destroyed by the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: VINO
Electrical work still taking place inside the House of Assembly that was destroyed by the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Despite construction work still taking place at the House of Assembly (HoA), on Friday, February 16, 2018, Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka 'Gus' announced that the Magistrate’s Court would commence criminal sittings in the House of Assembly Chambers on February 20, 2018.

“…the United Kingdom Government is funding the construction of a temporary Magistrate’s courtroom which, once complete, will be used whilst extensive reconstruction of the Magistrate’s Court at John’s Hole is undertaken. This will be funded through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Rapid Recovery loan. To address the more immediate needs of re-establishing the Criminal Court, the House of Assembly has graciously agreed to share their Chamber so that the Magistrate’s Court can resume on February 20,” Governor Jaspert announced in a statement.

However, when our reporter showed up for court coverage today, construction work was still taking place in the area scheduled to temporarily house the Magistrate’s Court.

Our newsroom was then told that the Magistrate’s Court was moved to the Conservation and Fisheries Department on the second floor of the Quastisky Building located at the roundabout in Road Town.

On arriving at the Quastisky Building approximately 10:30 A.M. today, Feburary 20, 2018, a male officer of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) told our news reporter that the space being temporarily used for the Magistrate's Court was too small, after our reporter stated they were there to cover court cases being heard.

Furthermore, our reporter observed that there were no other media houses in the room, but only persons who were settling matters.

It is unclear if a larger area is being sought for the sittings of the Magistrate's Court.

Will HoA building be ready for its first sitting?

Only yesterday, February 19, 2018 our news site first and accurately reported that the HoA will have its first sitting for the year on March 1, 2018.

Speaking with a contractor on site today, he assured our newsroom that the House of Assembly Chambers will be ready for the First Sitting of the Third Session of the Third House of Assembly (HoA) scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. and it will mark the return to the Parliament Chambers following the hurricanes of September 2017 that destroyed the building, leaving just the frame standing.

The contractor said they are now awaiting some doors and windows that were ordered and is estimated to finish the building within a week’s time.

The House had no home and met in two locations; at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom and the Arbitration Centre located on Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola.

The entire building that houses the High Court and HoA is being repaired by Quality Construction Limited, owned by local Roy A. Garraway.

See link to related story:

http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/en/news/house-of-assembly-meets-march-1-2018-throne-speech-will-be-read

8 Responses to “Reporter shut out of Magistrate’s Court”

  • LOL (20/02/2018, 22:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    WELL NO FAKE NEWS
  • Wellsah (20/02/2018, 22:45) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    So the guvnor fooling d ppl?
  • Timid (20/02/2018, 22:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not good. Need to do something about this fast.
  • Xxx (20/02/2018, 22:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    They just trying to keep vino out
  • pat (20/02/2018, 23:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    EVERY thing is different now after Irma and Maria
  • Goverment (20/02/2018, 23:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    If you can't climb a mountain, then go around it.
  • Liat 521 (21/02/2018, 00:29) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    My concern in all of this has been the constant undermining of public trust in government as a tactic and even as a strategy.

    The role of the media must not be undermined if we are to keep our democracy
    • Nightly News (21/02/2018, 19:11) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      But, the "media" must also not be a mouthpiece for one particular person or group. Report B orh sides of a story, leave YOUR opinion out and let us, the reader, make the determinatoon!


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