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Attorney wants law changed to make it easier to admit video recordings

Published:Tuesday | July 26, 2016 | 10:32 AM
Champagnie says even with legislative changes persons who witness crimes must play their part in the justice system and tell the authorities what they know.

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

Attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie is calling for amendments to the law to make it easier for electronic evidence to be admitted in court.

Champagnie says changes are needed to the Evidence Act to response to changes in the society.

His call follows public outrage over a video posted on social media showing a team of policemen restraining a woman along a road in Gordon Town, St Andrew on Saturday.

There have been calls for the cops in the video to be charged.

The police have appealed to the person or persons who recorded the incident to come forward indicating that the video cannot be used in a court case unless the owner of the recording gives a statement.

Champagnie says this highlights a shortcoming in the current legislation should be addressed.

 

Champagnie says while he’s in favour of changes to Evidence Act, the constitutional rights of accused persons must be protected.

He says even with legislative changes persons who witness crimes must play their part in the justice system and tell the authorities what they know.

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The attorney says while he acknowledges that persons may be fearful to come forward, the law provides for their identities to be protected.

In 2010, there was similar national outrage when a police sergeant was seen on video shooting an unarmed man on the ground in Buckfield, St Ann.

The man later died.

The owner of the video did not give a statement despite the efforts of the police and the policeman was subsequently freed following a no case submission by his lawyers.