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Sexual offences contribute to the largest number of cases for Demerara Criminal Assizes

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has forwarded to the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Judicature, a total of 354 cases for hearing.

Of this amount, 75 are for the capital offence of murder and all suspects have been incarcerated. 174 cases of sexual offences have been listed for hearing.

This was revealed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C, during her address at the opening of the Demerara April 2022 Criminal Assizes.

Director of the DPP, Shalimar Ali-Hack

"Sexual offences are prevalent and they contribute to the largest number of cases listed for hearing," the Director said.

Meanwhile, the Director of the DPP said they continue to file advice on a paper basis despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the paper filing system has been affecting the Magistrates’ Court, where all the criminal cases are first heard and then followed by the High court and the Court of Appeal. Ali-Hack said the DPP is looking forward to the digitising of the filing system. “I look forward to the digitising of the system whereby we can get filers electronically, we can give advice electronically and we can continue with the virtual hearings so as to ensure the safety of the staff who are dealing with the files, this is not only the staff of the DPP but also the staff of the court.” However, for this to be successful, she said the necessary equipment is needed which includes internet access with adequate bandwidth and trained individuals to operate this system. According to the Director, once this system is in place, the Guyana Police Force, the DPP and the Judicial system will have access to the data.

The judiciary on Tuesday opened the Demerara Assizes under the theme: Advancing the Rule of Law in the new normal. The annual assizes were put on hold for two years owing to the coronavirus pandemic.


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