Case adjourned against women charged with organising August’s ‘Freedom Fighters’ protest

(L) Donette Simon (R) Shenel Williams
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By Latrishka Thomas

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The two women charged in relation to the infamous ‘Freedom Fighters’ protest – where participants were tear gassed and rubber bullets were fired – will not be entering pleas until next year.

Donette Simon of Tindale Road and Shenel Williams of Villa were among several persons arrested after the August 8 demonstration which saw residents come out in droves to express their disagreement with several Covid-related policies.

The women were jointly accused of “organising a prohibited public meeting” and participating in said event.

Williams was also charged with incitement and encouraging unlawful behaviour.

When the duo appeared before Magistrate Conliffe Clarke three months ago, they were accompanied by a team of lawyers to include Leon Symister, Wendel Robinson and Charlesworth Tabor.

The lawyers requested that a plea not be taken because they needed the police file and other documents.

But yesterday Attorney Michael Archibald relayed – on behalf of the absent lawyers – that the defence still hadn’t received the case file they requested.

The prosecution was then given 21 days to provide disclosure and the matter was adjourned until February 8 at which time the defendants will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty.

Simon, 34, and Williams, 29, are currently on bail, having been granted temporary release in the sum of $15,000 with a $1,000 cash component at their first court appearance.

They were also asked to satisfy the $1,000 cash component of the bail, surrender all their travel documents, provide two Antiguan sureties, remain residents of their current abode, report to the nearest police station three times a week, and to notify the police three days prior to moving to a different address.

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