The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has sought to clear the air on its decision to offer no evidence against two police officers - Evon Blake and Warren Massey - in the shooting death of Michael Scarlett on April 9, 2002.
A statement from the DPP yesterday noted that concerns have been expressed by civil society, including human-rights lobby Jamaicans for Justice, in respect of how the matter of the case Regina v Evon Blake and Warren Massey was disposed of last month by its office after it had been referred for the initiation of prosecution for the offence of murder by a coroner's jury in January 2013.
"The Office of the DPP preferred an indictment charging both accused for the murder of Michael Scarlett and after detailed perusal of the depositions and statements on file, I instructed that a jury be empanelled and no evidence offered," stated DPP Paula Llewellyn in a statement to the media late yesterday.
Llewellyn said that, in the case against Blake and Massey, the Crown had no evidence to establish that they were not acting in lawful self-defence.
"From the account of the relative of Mr Scarlett, who was at the house immediately before he received his fatal injuries, she did not see how he came by these injuries," the DPP said. "She cannot in any way refute, challenge or shake the assertion of the accused persons that Mr Scarlett pointed a firearm at them and it is in those circumstances that they fatally wounded Mr Scarlett. The law empowers each and every citizen to act in defence of themselves, others and in respect of the protection of their property."
Llewellyn stated that after the assigned assistant DPP outlined the case to the jury, upon offering no evidence, the high court judge directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty in respect of both accused.