Caribbean News Briefs

Oct. 6, 1986
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ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada -- Acting Chief Justice Denis Byron adjourned Monday the trial of 18 people charged in the killing of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and 10 others.

Byron told the court that a subpoena requiring the appearance of the defendants had been filed in another court.

He did not elaborate, but legal sources said the matter related to a contempt of court case against Jamaican barrister Ian Ramsay, who at one time headed the defense team.

Each of the 18 defendants in the 5 month trial has pleaded innocent to charges of murdering Bishop and at least 10 of his supporters in a coup Oct. 19, 1983.

The killings prompted the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada that toppled a political faction led by Bernard Coard, a more radical group than Bishop's.

Besides Coard, those on trial include Phyllis Coard, former army commander Hudson Austin, former Mobilization Minister Selwyn Strachan, former envoy to Cuba Leon Cornwall, and trade unionist John Ventour.

On the Ramsay matter, Grenada High Court Judge James Patterson was to rule Tuesday on a defense request for adjournment of the proceedings until January.

The defense argued that Ramsey the trial would further delay the Bishop trial. Acting director of public prosecutions, Velma Hylton, is asking that Ramsey be jailed for several statements she charges showed contempt of court.

The judge postponed the trial until Wednesday.

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