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Case of Lalit militant Jerry Cadine on trumped-up charges postponed for 29 September

16.09.2003

Yesterday, when Lalit militant Jerry Cadine was in Curepipe District Court for his case, he was told by the Magistrate that the case would be postponed to the 29th September as the main police witness (and who is also an accused in this case) was absent in Court for the second time running.

Jerry Cadine was tortured and beaten up by police officers on two occasions: on the 23rd and 27th of March, 2001. On the 23rd March, CID police officers put a denim-cloth hood over Jerry Cadine’s head and assaulted him. He was kicked, punched, he was clouted with a truncheon. One police officer pulled his hair so as to shake his head violently.

All Jerry Cadine was, was a witness in a larceny case. He had reported to his employer that he had seen someone in his neighbourhood selling decorative articles (that are quite rare in Mauritius – Jerry Cadine works for a company that specialises in home decoration and renovation) that he recognised as being of the same kind that had been robbed from the store in his workplace (there had been a robbery not long before) and reported this to his employer. Jerry Cadine and his employer went to make an official statement at the police station. He had received threats from the man selling these stolen goods that if he reported this case to the police, this man would state that he was involved in the larceny case. Despite these threats, Jerry Cadine agreed to be a witness, and agreed to identify the man who he had seen selling these stolen goods. The man confessed having in fact stolen the articles, but then, falsely accused Jerry Cadine of having been an accomplice. This was how the police came to arrest Jerry Cadine. They beat him up to try and obtain a “confession” from him. He was then detained in the same cell as the man who he had seen selling the stolen articles.

The next day, Jerry Cadine got bail. He was charged with larceny. (This charge was subsequently dropped by police, then, was strangely enough, “re-instated”). His employer paid the bail money.

Jerry Cadine testified in a “Conference against human rights violations by police officers” organised on the occasion of Human Rights Day in December 2001. It was in every way, a credible testimony.