Attorney-at-law Dexter Todd, who is representing the 15-year-old girl facing 20 murder charges in relation to the Mahdia Secondary School dormitory fire, is looking to have the charges against his client reviewed and withdrawn.
According to a letter seen by this publication dated August 3, 2023 and addressed to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C, Todd is contending that, “there is absolutely no evidence that could support a charge of murder much less to secure a conviction against our client.”
Todd’s letter came after he received full disclosure on July 20, of the evidence the State has against his client.
“None of the witnesses placed our client in the area in which the fire started. None of them stated that they saw her light the fire. None of them stated that she accepted responsibility for the fire and none of them said they saw her walking or running from the area where the fire allegedly started prior to the great blaze…” Todd said.
He is also contending that the case the State has is based on circumstantial evidence given that there is no forensic evidence against his client. On those grounds and other in-depth contentions, Todd requested that the DPP review the charges and withdraw the matter against his client.
Magistrate Sunil Scarce had remanded the teen accused to the Juvenile Holding Centre, located Georgetown. She was not required to plead to the indictable charge which alleges that she murdered 19 girls and a 5-year-old boy. The next hearing of the matter is September 1, 2023.
As such, Todd said that he hopes the matter is withdrawn against his client before the next court date. The lawyer said, “It is a great injustice to have this innocent 15-year-old young lady in a holding center for an offence in which the prosecution has no likelihood of success. The next date set for this matter is September 1, 2023, at 9 am before the Mahdia Magistrates Court. We do hope that you could request and review this file before this date.”
Todd said that should the charges not be withdrawn against his client, he will initiate civil legal proceedings against the DPP and the State.
According to the letter he said, “Please note that should this charge not be withdrawn against our client and it goes the full length, we will be forced to institute civil and constitutional proceedings against the office of the DPP and the State, seeking certain order, declaration, and substantial damages.”