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Cops in Boulevard abduction and murder case walk free, for now

Published:Monday | October 13, 2014 | 10:20 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

A judge has told two policemen charged in a ten-year-old abduction and murder case that they are freemen until new laws are in place that will enable them to stand trial.




Corporal Louis Lynch and Constable Paul Edwards were ordered to be retried for murder and abduction last January after a jury failed to return a verdict.



They have denied the accusations against them.



Since the retrial was ordered, the prosecution had complained that a second one could be an expensive process.



The first case which ended in January 2013 cost the Government about $20 million.



Today the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, indicated that her office is hesitant to ask taxpayers to bear the burden of another costly retrial.



She entered a conditional nolle prosequi, a legal concept that essentially indicates that the prosecution was discontinuing at this time with the possibility of reopening it in the future.



The DPP told the Home Circuit Court that she will revisit the case when amendments are made to the Evidence Act.



Llewellyn says she hopes the changes will be implemented by next year.



Under the proposed Evidence Special Measures Act, criminal courts will be retrofitted to accommodate evidence by means of video links.



The prosecution has argued that it would be expensive to undertake a retrial especially because the Government had to pay significant costs to bring in overseas witnesses for the first trial.



Meanwhile, the high court judge Gloria Smith said the DPP was exercising her powers under the Constitution to discontinue the case.



Justice Smith then told the accused policemen that they are free to go until the required laws are in place.



The Crown is alleging that 20-year-old Kemar Walters, of Kitson Town, St Catherine and 45-year-old Oliver Duncan, of Olympic Gardens, Kingston 11 were abducted from Washington Plaza, along Washington Boulevard on December 23, 2004.



Walters and Duncan were allegedly shot to death after being taken from the plaza.



Their bodies have not been recovered.



A senior police man, Assistant Superintendent Victor Barrett, who was charged jointly with the other accused men, was acquitted in the first trial.



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