Nassau, Bahamas — Picewell ‘Soca’ Forbes is a FREE MAN today following an appearance this morning before Justice Anita Allen. ‘Soca’ Forbes had been commanded before the court for a possible charge of Contempt. Here’s what occurred. BP will later upload video on this BREAKING STORY<<<<.
Supreme Justice Anita Allen told Picewell today:
Your actions on the evening of Wednesday the 21st October 2009, had grave consequences for the administration of justice in that they imperiled:
- (a) The integrity of the jury’s deliberations, casting a cloud of suspicion enveloping all nine jurors in this matter:
- (b) The rights of the accused persons to a fair trial;
- (c) The rights of a complainant to justice in an compromised and transparent system,
This matter was further exacerbated by the following facts:
- (i) You are a member of one of the most respected professions which has been heralded as the fourth estate of a civilized nation. It forms an essential pillar of our democracy in that it informs and educated our citizenry. Accuracy of information, temperance and propriety of conduct should be the hallmarks of its practitioners.
- (ii) You are a legislator in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
- (iii) The forum in which your contemptuous action took place was a highly publicized national event which was carried live by the broadcast and television media and undoubtedly had an audience of Bahamians and indeed the world.
- (iv) The case was one of great notoriety involving a former member of Parliament and an ambulance driver on the one hand and on the other, an actor of international acclaim.
- (v) This case which ran some five weeks had to be aborted at great cost to the accused, the complainant that the Bahamian tax payer.
I had contemplated imposing on you a severe punishment for your contempt, a hefty fine and/or imprisonment. However, to your credit, you have taken responsibility for your actions and have reservedly apologized to me and to the judiciary as a whole and have also published your apology to the nation. Indeed, the organization of which you are a part also issued an immediate and unqualified apology that evening.
Further, I have considered the spontaneity of the announcement and they possibility that you were carried away by the euphoria of the crowd and gave no thought to the consequences of your announcement if untrue.
You have been severely condemned and rightly ridiculed across this nation and the world and I believe you have suffered greatly.
In the circumstances, I find that you have purged your contempt and I am satisfied that you have been sufficiently punished. I will temper with justice with mercy and discharge you with this reprimand:
“Your actions show a dangerous lack of appreciation on your part of the need to uphold and protect the sanctity and integrity of our system of justice.
We all have a responsibility to ensure that the dispensation of justice is fair, transparent and compromised. By your conduct on that fateful evening, you have failed in this responsibility and I send this clarion warning to you and other members of this society, that the course of justice must not be either deliberately or intentionally interfered with for any purpose and in any circumstance.”
As Justice Cobb said in R v Owen 1976 3 AER 239 at page 242, “… the quality of justice must be as perfect as mankind can make it and no attempt to compromise it will be countenanced by the courts.”
With that, I say, go and sin no more!