Magistrate to check gag-order breach
ARIMA Magistrate Anna Ryan has signalled her intention to investigate an article published by the Guardian newspaper to determine if it has breached one of her earlier rulings in the matter involving former Express reporter Akile Simon.
Ryan made the statement yesterday as Simon stood before her in the Arima First Magistrates' Court.
Simon, 28, appeared before Ryan yesterday in an attempt to have his aunt Maria Simon-Bernard sign as his surety.
The situation arose following the withdrawal of Simon's previous bailor Marcia Braveboy last week. On May 29, Braveboy stood bail for Simon in the amount of $250,000 which was approved by a Clerk of the Peace.
Simon is jointly charged with former cameraman Brendon Alexander, taxi driver Randy Borris and security guard Marley Charles with offences arising out of a robbery at K&A Liquor Mart, Range Road, Five Rivers, Arouca, on May 20.
On May 28 Ryan warned media workers to "exercise restraint" in their "reporting and commenting" on the matter.
On May 29 Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan placed a gag-order with respect to details of the bail application and other information being reported in the media on the matter.
Simon yesterday appeared before Ryan and raised the issue of the "sensational reporting" by the Guardian in an article published last Saturday.
Simon said as a former executive member of the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) he was not advocating muzzling of the media but instead called for responsible reporting.
Ryan yesterday said she had not read the article in question but promised to investigate to see if any of the previous orders made by the court were indeed breached.
She also said she needed more time to determine whether to have Simon-Bernard accepted by the court as Simon's surety.
The matter has been adjourned to August 21. —JJ