Thursday, October 8, 2015


The Attorney General’s Office asked that the press not be allowed to report on the testimony of the main witness in the case.

Did Chief Justice set a precedent when she gagged the press last week by prohibiting them from reporting on the Damienne Morel murder trial? Yesterday the Attorney General’s Office represented by Vipin Benjamin asked Magistrate Brassel Adeline for an order to stop the press from reporting on the testimony of the main witness in the Harmon Chellen inquest - the Malagasy woman employed by the Constance Ephelia hotel who accused the late Harmon Chellen of sexual assault.

The pathologist who performed the autopsy on the late Harmon Chellen cannot be found.
TODAY was the only newspaper represented in court at that point. This request seems to have taken the Chellen family’s lawyer, Rama Valayden, by surprise. Speaking to TODAY, Mr Valayden said he did not agree with the request as he intends to highlight the contradictions in the witness’ testimony. He expressed this opinion to the Magistrate as well, explaining that the family is in favour of the press covering the testimony.

Magistrate Adeline nonetheless granted the request, saying that a breach of this order would be dealt with “by the Chief Justice”. The case is also suffering from a major setback in the form of the inability of the police to locate the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Mr Chellen’s body. A counter autopsy was performed on Harmon Chellen in Mauritius and several discrepancies were brought to light. But Dr. Maria Zladkovitch who was excused from court during earlier hearings because she was ill is said to be out of the country and the police say they do not know when she will return.

This means that the timing of the testimonies of two Mauritian pathologists who were also supposed to fly to Seychelles is now uncertain. Speculations that they will testify by video conferencing have not been confirmed.

Source: Today in Seychelles