Patrick Powell Trial: Prosecutor says no vendetta against businessman
Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer
There is no vendetta against businessman Patrick Powell because he escaped culpability for a murder, a prosecutor declared today.
Yanique Gardener Brown, the lead prosecutor in Powell's trial for failing to handover his licensed firearm and ammunition to the police, also shot down Powell's claim that he had a right to silence.
"For that constitutional right to be invoked the person first has to be charged. There is no material before this court that Mr Powell was charged (on the day the request was made)," Gardener Brown said.
She also described it as embarrassing that the maximum sentence for the offence for which Powell is on trial is a fine of $300,000 or 12 months in prison.
Gardener Brown was responding to statements made by the businessman's attorney Deborah Martin in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court earlier.
Martin, in her closing argument in the trial, suggested that Powell was being punished because he was freed of murder in another case.
Martin also submitted that Powell exercised his constitutional right to remain silent.
However, Gardener Brown, in her address to presiding judge Vaughn Smith, questioned Martin's reasoning.
"I know my friend is not suggesting that because he escaped culpability for a murder the provisions of the Firearms Act should be ignored," she asserted.
Powell was acquitted of murder last year in the shooting death of Kingston College student, Khajeel Mais in July 2011.
He was charged with failing to turn over his licensed Glock pistol and ammunition to police investigators who were probing Mais' death.
Gardener Brown argued that Powell did not report his firearm lost or stolen.
"The fact that he did not report it lost or stolen means Mr Powell had control of the weapon, actual or constructed," she said.
"To date the firearm still has not been produced," the prosecutor underscored.