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Rodney Moncur Charged


Well known activist and former Democratic National Alliance (DNA) candidate Rodney Moncur was arraigned in court yesterday for posting images showing the remains of a man who died while in police custody back in February.

Moncur, 56, known for his outlandish tactics, made a dramatic entrance into the Magistrate’s Court Complex screaming, “Freedom…I am a political prisoner and they are going to kill me.”

Inside court, Moncur appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethel and almost instantly the fireworks began.

Before the deputy chief magistrate was even able to read him his charge sheet, Moncur who did not have a lawyer made what he called a preliminary objection – demanding that Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel remove herself from his case claiming that he is currently in a legal matter with her husband and that the deputy chief magistrate’s involvement in his case was prejudicial.

Very quickly Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel ordered Moncur to conduct himself in an appropriate manner otherwise she threatened to charge him.

She warned the well-known activist that he was in the court of law and not a political arena; he then apologised.

But right afterwards, the deputy chief magistrate asked him for his date of birth and Moncur, who spoke loudly, said, “I was born in the eastern district of New Providence.”

At that point Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel interjected and advised him that she simply wanted his date of birth.

Moncur then told the court that he was born on the 30 November 1956.

A reluctant Moncur eventually quieted long enough for his charge to be read

He is accused of posting images that show the remains of his cousin Jamie Smith, the man whose death while in police custody on February 8, is currently being investigated by the Coroner’s Court.

Moncur was not required to enter a plea to the charges though he did elect to go the unusual route of having his trial in the Supreme Court over having it heard in the lower court.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel granted $7,500 bail with one or two sureties.

However, Moncur told her that the amount was too high and he would be unable to meet it.

“The person I am depending on is my wife,” Moncur told the court. “And she works for me and earns a slave’s wage of $100 a week.”

The deputy chief magistrate asked him what he did for a living to which Moncur said, “I do JP work, I am a taxi cab driver and I am also a consultant on human rights issues.”

Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel offered to reduce his bail to $5,000 but Mr. Moncur said that that was still too high.

He asked the deputy chief magistrate that he could be released on personal bail which Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel rejected.

He again pleaded with the court declaring that he is a Justice of the Peace; he is respected in his community, known by police and without a criminal record.

But despite his pleading, Deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel denied him personal bail and after Moncur said he would not be able to make bail, she eventually remanded him to prison until 2:00 today when he will return to court to learn whether his matter will proceed by way of a preliminary hearing or a Voluntary Bill of Indictment.

When the matter was adjourned, Moncur thanked the deputy chief magistrate and yelled “God save the Queen” before being escorted out the courtroom.

Before leaving court he instructed one of his supporters not sign his bail warning that he would never speak to him again if he did.

Meanwhile Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade while not commenting specifically about Moncur’s case Thursday morning issued a warning to people who post graphic images on social media websites.

“If you post on Facebook or any other media anything that is contrary to law…that is obscene or indecent and it infringes upon the rights of any other citizen this commissioner and all members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), I dare say all of us in public safety are going to take action because we have a problem with that and we are not going to ignore that,” Mr. Greenslade said.

The images posted by Moncur on Facebook were allegedly taken in the Princess Margaret Hospital’s morgue.

Moncur has refused to reveal how he got the photos but he has previously stated that he will continue to post these images no matter how many times he is arrested or even jailed.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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