On May 19th, the outspoken Plus TV news director and Rise and Shine morning show host, Pastor Louis Wade, was summoned before the San Ignacio Magistrate Court where he was charged for “common assault” and “indecent words”. The charges came from criminal complaints filed before the Police by Robert “Bobby” Montero, who is the son of Cayo Central UDP Area Representative Rene Montero for an incident that occurred as far back as November last year.
The charges were strongly suspected of being an attack on Pastor Wade and also the media, and today, Wade’s attorneys was successful in getting Magistrate Hurl Hamilton to strike out the case. One of the attorneys, Stacey Grinage, explained how it happened.
Stacey Grinage -Attorney for Louis Wade
“Today the magistrate gave his decision on the preliminary challenge to the charge which we had raised on the last occasion and the magistrate has permanently stayed the proceedings against Mr. Wade and the matter has been struck out from the court, the magistrate agreed with our submission that laid the laying of the charges one week before the limitation period was excessive in the circumstances and that it was delayed that good amount to an abuse of process so the matter has been stayed and the magistrate made the point that; it is not a complex case and so having regard to the minor offences then the accused prospects of any fair trial would be prejudice as well and so that is the magistrate decision.”
Pastor Wade also spoke to the media, expressing satisfaction with the decision. Wade added that the Court considered the actions against him are excessive abuse of power. While the Court has thrown out the case, Pastor Wade says for him the matter is still unfinished business.
Pastor Louis Wade
“Very satisfied with the decision of the judge, you know we’ve been wondering when good sense would prevail and am very, very glad that it’s at the very first level that we encounter the justice system; the magistrate ruled that it is an abuse of excessive power, the police that has brought it to where it is today and that is exactly what happened, my understanding of his decision is that had allowed this case to proceed it would in the sight of the public question the justice system because of the length of time that the police take to bring a simple charge of insulting words and common assault to the court. We go back to our lawyers we have the able Attorney at Law Greenage that I want to thank and there were other Attorney at Law I was very glad, Attorney at Law, Audrey Matura Sheppard came to assist and we also have Senators Michel Chebatt, Attorney at Law and Eamon Courtney, Attorney at Law and so we will go back because this is unfinished business for the nation of Belize.”
“Now do you think is there a grievance against the complainant and you?”
Pastor Louis Wade
“I don’t hold anything in my heart against any of them but something went radically wrong here and I think we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again and if it could happen to me a Pastor in the country of Belize everything I do from sixteen is known to this country, what about the street boy what about the person who do not have the kind of public presence that I have, just the average person if they can do this to somebody like me we have to fight for that unknown person on the street.”
The entire attempt to prosecute Wade has further eroded the public’s confidence and trust in the San Ignacio Police, who has been accused of being manipulated by their political bosses.