‘Vieux Fort Five’ Inquest to resume February 20

Slowly the inquest into the deaths of five men shot and killed by police back in 2011 is unfolding. The inquest into the ill-fated incident that left John Baptiste Mc Farlane, Mitchel Cadette, Allan Lenny Louisy, Myron Dupal and Kevin Ferdinand dead got underway at the Vieux Fort District Court in November.  On that occasion the matter was adjourned until Wednesday, January 16. At the end of Wednesday’s proceedings the case was adjourned to February 6, 2013 for continuation.
On January 16 three police officers gave evidence into what they said transpired on the day in question. At this point, no evidence of the gun police officers claimed was used by the men in the alleged ‘shoot out’ has been provided.
Magistrate Robert Innocent is presiding over the matter and on February 6, the court did not hear evidence from Pathologist Dr Stephen king as scheduled. Dr King’s testimony in the case is paramount but due to unavoidable circumstances, he was unable to be a part of this week’s proceedings. A new date has been set for continuation of the matter at which time the pathologist will present his evidence.
At Wednesday’s session a new civilian eye witness gave evidence in court. At one point during the proceeding, the magistrate indicated that jurors might be allowed to view the crime scene at a date to be announced. Sources close to the incident say family members are willing to make “crucial” statements before the court at a future date. It is unclear when they will be able to do so. The inquest continues on February 20.
Though court conditions leave much to be desired, to be precise:  “small uncomfortable court benches that don’t even have a place to rest your back . . . there isn’t even an available table if we want to take notes”, family members of all five men have made their presence felt at every court sitting thus far.
“People are interested,” a young victim’s mother told the STAR. “We’re happy the other families are willing to testify. Everyone is making a point of being involved. The way things transpired that night that is not right. We are looking for justice and it will happen.”
The case is far from conclusion, but closer to an end date than it was in the days when it was unclear when or whether an inquest would even be held. Stay tuned!

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