Judge in Messado Trial Raises Eyebrows

Concerns are being raised about a comment by Senior Parish Court Judge, Maxine Ellis, in court yesterday in the Jennifer Messado fraud trial.

Judge Ellis told Police investigators not to lay any more criminal charges against the prominent St. Andrew-based attorney, before Friday this week.

Judge Ellis granted Messado bail yesterday in the sum of $800,000.

Judge Ellis made the comment yesterday when Police investigators opposed bail for Messado. She was before the court in connection with multiple fraud charges laid against her last week.

The Police indicated that a document from a forensic expert is to be placed on the Messado case file before it may be considered complete.

According to the Police, the file will be completed by this Friday or the latest, by Monday.

Clerk of the Court, Hansurd Lawson, told Judge Ellis the Police are opposing bail for Messado because there are concerns that she’s a flight risk and may interfere in other ongoing investigations.

Judge Ellis lamented the absence of the document from the Messado case file before the Court.

The Judge also commented that incomplete case files are one reason why so many cases are before the first mention Court.

When the Clerk indicated that bail was being opposed for Messado because there are several other investigations into her affairs – Judge Ellis told Assistant Superintendent, Susan Bruce – ‘nuh bodda charge her before Friday you know, then bring her back here because I will not be here’.

ASP Bruce did not respond. But some law enforcement officials and attorneys have expressed surprise at that comment by the Senior Parish Court Judge.

Concerns are being raised about whether Judge Ellis’s comment may be interpreted as an attempt to direct the Police about who to charge and when.

There are also concerns about whether the comment by the Judge may amount to attempted interference in the operations of the Constabulary.

It’s understood that the issue has been brought to the attention of Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck and a report may be made to the Judicial Services Commission and Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes.

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