Sun | Jun 24, 2018

Patrick Powell being punished for getting off murder charge - attorney

Published:Wednesday | June 28, 2017 | 12:28 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The attorney for businessman Patrick Powell today argued that the decision to charge him for failing to turn over his licensed firearm to the police was punishment for being acquitted of murder in another case.

The assertion came in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court as Powell's attorney, Deborah Martin made her closing argument in his trial for a breach of the Firearm Act.

"We take the view that because he was freed of murder in another case he must be punished in this case," Martin underscored.

Powell was charged with failing to turn over his licensed Glock pistol and ammunition to police investigators who, at the time, were probing the shooting death of Khajeel Mais, a 17-year-old Kingston College student.

Superintendent Clive Walker testified that he requested the weapon from Powell three times while he was in custody but was ignored.

Martin, in her address to presiding judge Vaughn Smith, argued that he will have to decide whether the circumstances under which Powell was charged are an exception to his constitutional right to silence.

"Whether he should be published for failing to assist the police in their investigations," she reasoned.

According to Martin, the trial is about which law is supreme and must prevail - "The Constitution, the bedrock, or the Firearms Act,".

Stressing that Powell was in the custody of the police in a murder investigation, the attorney argued that his decision to remain silent accords with his constitutional right.

"Had this happened while they were searching his house that would be a different matter," she argued.