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Jorge Vidal Acquitted of 2005 Murder Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00

Jorge Vidal was acquitted of the murder of Hortencio Contreras on Friday, August 2nd.

Contreras was killed on Benque Centro America Street on December 23rd, 2005. Reports are that the deceased left a party at Erwin Contreras’s home at around 2:00 a.m. Witnesses’ statements revealed that prior to the murder an argument was heard between Vidal and the deceased outside the house. Contreras was beaten to death and Vidal was arrested and charged for his murder.

Vidal was acquitted based on a technicality. Justice Hanomansingh ruled that the committal for Vidal to stand trial in the Supreme Court was improper in law because it was not signed by Magistrate Richard Swift. The evidence shows that Magistrate Swift, who is deceased, signed the recognizance of all the witnesses but the certificate of committal to trial was signed by Magistrate Earl Jones for Richard Swift. Note that Jones took over the case in 2008. Hanomansingh ruled that one cannot sign for a dead man; therefore, the committal was unlawful and Vidal is acquitted of the charge.

The prosecutor in this case was Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez. Ramirez had 11 witnesses to be called in the case including Minister Erwin Contreras, cousin of the deceased, who identified the body of his relative and provided a statement to police. Vidal was represented by Michael Peyreffitte.