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Case against cops accused of shooting pregnant woman remain in limbo

Published:Thursday | September 22, 2016 | 9:51 PM

The trial of two cops accused of shooting a pregnant woman in Montego Bay earlier this year remains in limbo as the St James Parish Court awaits a decision on who can prosecute the case.

Senior Superintendent of Police Anthony Castelle and District Constable Rohan McIntosh, were arrested and charged in connection with the shooting of 19-year-old Janice Hines.

However, their case was put off this week because it remains unclear whether it is the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) or the clerk of the court who should prosecute the matter.

On Monday defence attorneys asked presiding judge Natalie Hart-Hines which body would prosecute the case against their clients.

However, the judge said she was waiting to receive instruction from the Court of Appeal in relation to submissions by the Jamaica Police Federation and other police groups.

The cops are appealing a 2013 decision by the Full Court which ruled that INDECOM Commissioner, Terrence Williams, had the powers of arrest and could charge members of the security forces who run afoul of the law.

The police groups argue that it is unconstitutional for INDECOM to have the power to arrest, charge and prosecute.

Judge Hart-Hines says she would prefer to get guidance from the Court of Appeal before proceeding with the case against the two cops.

Castelle and McIntosh were subsequently given new court dates in January and their bails extended until January 16.

The two cops were arrested and charged by INDECOM on May 18, following an incident on January 22 in which a police team reportedly chased and opened fire on a motor car after the driver disobeyed an order to stop.

The gunfire hit the pregnant woman, who was sitting in the back of the car.