Prosecution, defence clash as cops' murder trial continues
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
There were fireworks yesterday at the murder trial of three policemen in the Home Circuit Court when Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dirk Harrison asked a defence witness if a particular phone number belonged to one of the accused men.
"This is outrageous. Counsel is not giving evidence," defence lawyer Valerie Neita-Robertson remarked.
Neita-Robertson argued that Harrison had an opportunity with the witness for Digicel to explore that avenue.
"This is dishonesty at the low level. I cannot endure this," Neita-Robertson said.
"She is suggesting I am being dishonest," Harrison responded.
Justice Horace Marsh, who is presiding at the trial, said he had already ruled that Harrison could not ask that question.
Neita-Robertson: "I have to stop practising law. I need to go to St Elizabeth to plough some land."
Harrison: "I have been called dishonest by counsel."
Marsh: "Please, move on, counsel."
Harrison: "How can I move on when she says I am dishonest. I must just sup it up and move on?"
Marsh: "Move on, counsel."
After a bit more back and forth, Harrison resumed his cross-examination of Inspector Philip McIntosh, who was called as a witness for Corporal Paul Edwards.
Edwards, Corporal Louie Lynch and Assistant Commissioner of Police Victor Barrett have been on trial in the Home Circuit Court since October 29 for the murder of 20-year-old apprentice mechanic Kemar Walters and 44-year-old shopkeeper and blockmaker Oliver Duncan.
The Crown is alleging that the men were abducted from a plaza on Washington Boulevard, St Andrew on the afternoon of December 23, 2004 after they were found in possession of a blue Honda CR-V motor car. The men have not been seen since.
STATION DIARY TENDERED
Edwards completed his defence yesterday after calling several witnesses and tendering in evidence an entry from the station diary from the Organised Crime Investigation Division.
The entry, which came under reports for December 23, 2004, stated that from midday to 11 p.m. on that day, policemen from the Stolen Motor Vehicle Unit had seized several motor vehicles, including a black Toyota Tundra motor truck and a silver Honda Civic motor car. A red line was drawn at the end of the entries for December 23, 2004, and there was no space for backdating.
The diary was tendered in evidence by Inspector Philip McIntosh.
The prosecution's main witness, a former policeman, had said that Barrett had dictated a false statement to them some days after the men were abducted. He said they were told to report that on December 23, 2004, they were in the Corporate Area seizing motor vehicles. The witness had said Clayton was in his company at the plaza when the men were taken away.
Cross-examined by Queen's Counsel Churchill Neita, who represents Barrett, McIntosh said the Crown's main witness had expressed disapproval about not being promoted to a detective.
He said he heard the witness expressing resentment against Barrett. He said the witness was bitter at one point and he heard the witness saying that Barrett could have helped him to get the promotion.
The trial, which began on October 29, will continue tomorrow.