Attorney General Justin Simon QC has put together a response to the claim by two UK men who recently sued the state for alleged wrongful detention in prison.
The parties face a judge in the High Court on February 4.
The Daily OBSERVER understands that several statements were filed in response to the claims made by Mark Smith and Andrew Sharpe who spent five months in jail from December 2009 to May 2010 without being taken back before a magistrate for the committal process and their weekly remand in relation to a criminal matter.
The men had complained of the poor conditions under which they were held, including staying in a small cell crowded with about 10 persons, some of whom were forced to sleep on a blanket on the floor because the cell had only three beds.
They also complained the cell was infested with mosquitoes, cockroaches and rats and the one bucket used as a sanitary receptacle by all 10 prisoners was emptied only three times a day.
One witness who has already sworn to an affidavit in response to the lawsuit is Prison Superintendent Anthony Hopkins who admitted that from December 22, 2009 onwards the police did not go to the prison for the men to take them to court weekly, as is the normal procedure.
Hopkins also admitted that the sanitary receptacle was emptied three times a day.
The head of the prison did not deny that Smith was removed from the section of the prison where remanded prisoners are held to a cell in the area where convicts are housed to facilitate his assisting in the kitchen since he is a professional chef.
However, he said he was not aware that either of the two slept on the floor of their cells at anytime and further, that they never lodged any complaints when he enquired about their well-being.
Records from the St John’s Magistrates’ Court provided to the High Court following the lawsuit also showed the men had not been taken back to St John’s Magistrate court to be remanded between December 22, 2009 and May 14, 2010.
The respondent, Simon QC maintains the men were lawfully detained because they had been denied bail on fraud related charges and were not lawful residents here.
Sharpe and Smith were initially detained for stealing $37,500 from John Bonnett and obtaining $65,000 with intent to defraud Bonnett in May and June 2009 respectively.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)