Candadian YouTuber to seek bail in late court hearing

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Christopher “Chris Must List” Hughes. – Photo courtesy Christopher Hughes’ Instagram page

CANADIAN YouTuber Christopher Arthur Hughes, who has been charged with sedition, will return to court later today (June 3) with a request for bail.

The vlogger, who goes by the name Chris Must List, appeared before Master Margaret Sookraj-Goswami on the morning of June 3.

Hughes, 45, was arrested at a residence in Flagstaff, Long Circular, St James earlier last week.

His matter was stood down until 1.30 pm after assistant DPP Danielle Thompson asked for a short adjournment to sort out administrative issues relating to the charge against him.

Hughes is represented by a team of attorneys including Anand Ramlogan, SC, Pamela Elder, SC, and Criston J Williams.

Ramlogan objected to an adjournment, asking instead for the matter to be stood down to later in the day.

“I am loath to have this hearing adjourned, because of the seriousness of charges and the length of time he has been in custody.

“He is a visitor to our shores. I cannot see a reasonable justification for the adjournment unless the State consents to bail. He is entitled to his liberty at this stage.

“The state cannot say there are filing problems with the court system to have the matter adjourned.

“He is entitled to his liberty, consistent with the presumption of innocence.”

Ramlogan also noted the matter had attracted international attention.

A statement from the police on May 30 said Hughes was charged by Sgt Lee of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on May 29.

His arrest came after the vlogger posted videos on YouTube featuring alleged gang members “advocating criminal activities, and using threatening language.”

Hughes was detained, interviewed and told of the allegations against him.

The statement said investigators consulted with Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, who directed them to charge Hughes under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act.

The charge alleged on May 9, 2024, Hughes published a seditious publication (an audio-visual video) on the social media platform YouTube.

Hughes who specialises in video interviews with criminal gangs, arrived in Trinidad earlier in May, interviewed alleged gang members and shared his experiences on Facebook and YouTube – garnering thousands of views.

Most of his videos on Trinidad have since been set to “private” on his YouTube account. Edited versions are still accessible on his Instagram.

In the videos, men were seen with high-powered weapons complaining about their treatment at the hands of the government.

Shortly after he was charged, a message purporting to be from his family alleged Hughes was being held without access to a lawyer.

Williams said on June 2, his client was not afforded due process when he was charged.

“His fundamental human rights were contravened, and then misinformation was put in the public domain that could result in either his death (or) my death…”

Williams also claimed police visited his offices last week and disclosed he has sought an audience with the President.

Hughes, in a voice note on the second day of his detention, said he felt his arrest was politically motivated.

“I am loved by this country; I want to keep it that way,” Hughes said. “I have done nothing wrong.

“It seems like a political ploy for some reason. Someone in the government is upset.”