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Stronger action needed against 'lying' complainants, says attorney Champagnie

Published:Friday | November 28, 2014 | 4:16 PM
Peter Champagnie - File

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie is calling for stronger action to be taken against complainants who are found to have misled the court.




Champagnie says there are too many cases of complainants walking free after they have framed persons causing them to languish in custody for years.



He made the remark against the background of the case of 21-year-old tiler Kevon Thompson who was yesterday freed of charges of illegal possession of firearm and wounding with intent in the Gun Court.



Justice Evan Brown freed Thompson and remarked that he found him to be more credible than the complainant.



Thompson spent two years in custody because although he was offered bail a year ago in the sum of $150,000 with a surety he was not able to take up the bail offer.



Thompson was accused of firing shots at the complainant about 8 o'clock on the morning of August 1, 2012.



However, he insisted that he was at work at the time of the alleged shooting.



Under cross-examination, it was suggested to the complainant that he was pressuring the accused to join a gang but he denied the suggestion.



Thompson denied the allegations and brought witnesses to show that he was arrested for the offence which came to the attention of the police three weeks after the alleged offence.



Champagnie said after the witness was found to be lying, he left the court without any action being taken against him.



He said he volunteered to represent the accused when he heard of his situation.



Champagnie said people should desist from telling lies on innocent persons because the minimum sentence for gun offences is 15 years.



He is of the view that when witnesses come to court and there is overwhelming evidence that they are lying to get a conviction against someone, action should be taken against them.



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