Christ Must List gets to go home

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Canadian YouTuber Christopher “Chris Must List” Hughes. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE CANADIAN YouTuber accused of sedition, Christopher Arthur Hughes, who posts under the name “Chris Must List,” has been given permission to return home until his next court appearance in August.

On June 21 Justice Indrani Cedeno granted Hughes permission to travel and ordered the return of his passport, which will have to be re-lodged in the High Court registry on August 22, the day before he reappears before acting Chief Magistrate Christine Charles.

On June 13, Hughes said he had hoped to return home after his court appearance that day. At the time, he posted on Instagram saying it appeared he was “stuck” in Trinidad until August.

On June 21, he posted a photo with the “thumbs up” sign that said, “Going to pick up my passport. I’m coming.”

Newsday had been told that once initial bail orders were made by the High Court, under the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, a magistrate could not interfere, so any variation had to be applied for in the High Court.

That application was made by Hughes’ attorneys on June 17.

His sedition case before the acting Chief Magistrate will come up for a case-management hearing on August 23.

Hughes made his first appearance before her on June 13.

On June 6, Master Margaret Sookraj-Goswami transferred the matter to the Port of Spain District Court after the State elected to conduct the matter summarily (a summary trial at the district court).

Hughes had agreed to the recommendation and the master permitted him to leave the country until the June 13 hearing, while also removing the condition of weekly reporting to a police station which was attached to his $100,000 bail.

He was also ordered to relodge his passport with the registrar when he returned to appear before the acting Chief Magistrate.

At that time, Hughes said he intended to remain in the country and continue filming Trinidad and Tobago’s culture while he was still here.

At his last hearing, Hughes, 45, pleaded not guilty to the charge of publishing a seditious publication (an audiovisual video) on the social media platform YouTube on May 9.

He is represented by senior attorneys Pamela Elder, SC, Anand Ramlogan, SC, and Russell Warner.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Danielle Thompson is representing the State.

At the June 13 hearing, Elder asked if Hughes’ electronic equipment, such as his cameras and iPhone,could be returned to him. She said the police could keep the memory cards and return the cameras. Newsday understands he has not yet received those items.

A trial date is likely to be set at Hughes’s next court appearance.

The investigation began after Hughes posted videos from Trinidad and Tobago to his YouTube page, where he has 326,000 subscribers.

The police said in a statement that the videos featured “individuals professing to be gang members, advocating criminal activities, and using threatening language.”

The sedition charge against Hughes carries a fine of $3,000 or two years in prison on summary conviction.