Bail-for-murder advocate murdered

FORMER murder accused Akili Charles, the man whose litigation led to the court’s historic ruling that people charged with murder can apply for bail, has been shot dead.

The 42-year-old was killed near his Diego Martin home late Saturday night.

Police said Charles’ relatives were at home on Covigne Road, at around 10 pm, when they heard multiple gunshots.

On checking, a relative saw Charles bleeding on the road outside.

Relatives reportedly tried resuscitating him but later covered him with a sheet until police arrived.

Officers of the Western Division Task Force and the Homicide Bureau of Investigations (Region I) visited the scene with a district medical officer.

The body was later taken to the Forensic Science Centre in St James.

In 2015, Charles and five others were jointly charged for the 2010 murder of Russell Antoine.

He remained in remand pending trial.

Charles sued the Attorney General for murder accused to have the right to apply for bail.

He and the other five were freed of the charges as Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle ruled the State had failed to present sufficient evidence.

In February, the Appeal Court ruled people charged with murder could apply for bail.

The State appealed this ruling to the Privy Council in London and only last Thursday, that court upheld the local appellate court’s decision that murder was a bailable offence.

No arrests have been made and investigations are continuing.

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