Monday, 11 January 2010

Police collusion claims in court: Seray-Wurie

Dr Adu Aezick Seray-Wurie has claimed in court that his neighbours and the police colluded in order to bring criminal charges against him.

Seray-Wurie was charged with criminal damage in September 2009 after writing on parking signs posted in the gated community where he lives - Gateway Mews in Hackney.

Seray-Wurie pleaded not guilty to the charge despite admitting that he had written on the signs. He claimed that no damage had been done and that as a freeholder on the development he partially owns the signs.

The case, which has already had two preliminary hearings, could take two days to hear when it next comes to court - a provisional date has been set for 3 June 2010.

Initially the District Judge and the prosecution set aside two hours for the hearing but changed this to two days after Seray-Wurie demanded his right to cross examine witnesses.

The prosecution counsel asked why Seray-Wurie wanted to cross-examine witnesses if he did not dispute their evidence - that he had written on the signs - and said that the trial would centre on legal issues surrounding ownership of the property.

The Judge asked: "Do you accept that you wrote on the signs?"

Seray-Wurie: "Yes I wrote on them but they are not signs, they are notices."

The Judge said: "Your defence seems to rely on legal issues, not on a factual dispute."

S-W: "There are factual disputes"

Prosecution: "The defendant has the (witness) statement, is there anything in it which is not accepted?"

S-W. "Many things."

Prosecution: "If he agrees that it is him (who wrote on the signs), what is it in there that is not accepted?"

S-W. "Many things."

Judge: "What things?"

S-W. "These statements have no date on them. There is collusion between the police and these witnesses. I should have an opportunity to cross examine them."

Seray-Wurie also said: "No property was damaged. When this case comes to trial it will be exposed for what it is."

"Gateway mews is private housing and what the prosecution is trying to do is use criminal procedures to solve a civil process." He also said that particular individuals were responsible for the action and claimed that some of it related to a quarrel dating back to 1997.

At the hearing on Friday 8 January Seray-Wurie also called for the trial location to be moved claiming that he would not get a fair hearing at Stratford Magistrates Court. He based this claim on a dispute he had had with a District Judge at Thames Magistrates Court which led to a Judicial Review. This was in relation to an on-going civil case involving Hackney Council.

At the hearing on Friday he told Stratford Magistrates court: "I have reason to believe that I will not be given a fair trial if the case is heard in Thames or Stratford." However the presiding Judge said that although Thames and Stratford were administratively linked, the legal staff were independent and refused the request.

The case was adjourned and a provisional June 3rd date has been set for the trial.

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