Tue | Jan 23, 2018

DPP says main witness was 'non-communicative' in #X6Trial

Published:Monday | October 24, 2016 | 5:44 PM
Businessman Patrick Powell about to enter a BMW X5 after he was freed of the murder of Khajeel Mais in court today - Patrick Planter photo.

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn has revealed that in the days leading up to the start of the so-called X-6 murder trial the main witness, taxi driver Wayne Wright was “non-communicative” with prosecutors.

Llewellyn told journalists today that her office reached out to Wright through the police in an effort to encourage him read over his witness statement ahead of the trial.

However, she said Wright responded by saying he know what he was going to say.

"His stance, to the best of what I have been made aware by the police, is that, certainly very recently, he would prefer not to say anything," Llewellyn explained.

She said lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor also tried to speak to Wright.

"But he maintained this stance and indicated that he will say what he has to say when he goes to court," Llewellyn revealed.

She said Taylor asked her to intervene but this did not change his position.

"So you hope for the best, but you can’t really, in cases of this nature, be absolutely sure what a witness is going to say until he goes into the witness box because his stance was non-communicative in respect of what he was going to say," she said.

Businessman Patrick Powell was today freed of murder and shooting with intent arising from the death of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais in Havendale, St Andrew in July 2011.

Prosecutors alleged that Mais was travelling in a taxi that collided with a BMW X-6 sports utility vehicle on Highland Drive on the evening of July 1, 2011. It was further alleged that the driver of the luxury vehicle came out and fired several bullets into the taxi.

Wright took the witness stand last Thursday and testified that his taxi collided into the back of a "high back" vehicle that suddenly appeared before him in rainy and foggy conditions.

When he was confronted by Taylor with a statement in which he allegedly gave Inspector Vernal Thompson details of how the incident unfolded and a description of a man he saw with a gun, the taxi operator repeatedly denied including those details in the statement.

Taylor indicated in the Home Circuit Court today that Wright’s testimony influenced his decision to abandon the case against the businessman.