Birbal in court next week
By LEDEDRA MARCHE
FN Senior Reporter
Trinidadian teacher Andre Birbal is set to go on trial in a Grand Bahama Supreme Court on Monday for having unnatural sex with two of his male students.
The former art teacher at Eight Mile Rock High School is charged with two counts of unnatural sexual intercourse with a minor.
The sexual allegations began in January of 2009 when Birbal was accused of being engaged in a sexual scandal with two former male students over an eight-year period.
The allegations surfaced after two former male students reported that a male teacher had molested and manipulated them during that time.
In February 2009, Grand Bahama police confirmed that they had closed their investigations into the matter and turned the case over to the Office of the Attorney-General.
Birbal had been placed on administrative leave in Feb-ruary of 2009 after the sex allegations surfaced. He resigned that same month and eventually left the country.
The Trinidadian native was the subject of an all points bulletin (APB) back in 2009 and his name was registered with Interpol.
Birbal was arrested several weeks later in New York following a traffic violation. Soon afterwards, the office of the Attorney-General began extradition proceedings and Birbal was flown back into the country in March.
He was arraigned in a New Providence court the same day.
His matter fast tracked to the Supreme Court on April 2, 2010 via a voluntary bill of indictment (VBI) not long after his arraignment in the capital.
In May of that year, Attorney Carlson Shurland, during a Constitutional motion hearing, argued that Birbal could not have a fair trial because of the pre-trial publicity the case had already been given in the media and public forums.
The matter was set to begin in May but was delisted after Attorney Shurland withdrew the motion.
In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in Grand Bahama on May 7, 2010 on Birbal's behalf, the teacher, concerned about getting a fair trial, had revealed that he believed that excessive pre-trial publicity, religious leaders and elected officials have had a prejudicial effect on the minds of the ordinary citizenry of The Bahamas.
© 2010 The Freeport News