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Bishop Fraser’s trial adjourned

A magistrate on Friday was forced to adjourn the sexual misconduct trial of Bishop Earl Randolph Fraser because of the absence of his lawyers.

Franklyn Williams, the director of public prosecutions, was set to continue his cross-examination of Fraser, who has vigorously denied allegations that he had an affair with a 16-year-old female member of his Pilgrim Baptist Temple.

The girl alleges that the affair occurred from July 2005 to February 2006, the period during which she saw the bishop for counseling. The woman, now 21, has alleged that she and Fraser had sex in the church’s office and at his marital home in Eastwood Estates.

Fraser has dismissed those claims as lies. OnThursday, he explained the presence of semen on the carpet of his church office by saying he and his wife shared intimate moments there.

However, yesterday Fraser’s attorneys were absent.

Roberto Reckley, a lawyer with the firm of Munroe and Associates, said that Jairam Mangra was ill and Wayne Munroe was unavailable.

Fraser told the court he was not prepared to be questioned without Munroe or Mangra present.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell was upset that Munroe did not have a”good excuse”for his absence.

Magistrate Bethell said she had postponed all of her other cases to accommodate the Fraser case. She said,”I want to state for the record that I am not happy at all with Wayne Munroe.”

Bethell continued that Munroe should set an example for other lawyers as a former Bar Association president.

She said,”The only reason I’m going to grant an adjournment is that this matter being conducted is a serious one.”

But she warned Fraser that she would proceed with the case on March 15 even if his lawyers were no-shows.

Fraser’s wife, Jacqueline, and five other people areexpected to testify on his behalf following his cross-examination.

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