Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Who framed David Clarke?

Published:Wednesday | September 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: The report carried in The Gleaner ('Man
allegedly framed by police freed', September 9, 2014) of police
fabricating evidence against Mr David Clarke, of Riverton City, arising
from an incident that took place in 2011, must be alarming for many of
us Jamaicans. It certainly raises some serious questions regarding the
circumstances surrounding this incident, especially those relating to
the investigation and the responsibility for full disclosure of
evidence.

The first question that needs to be answered is whether
those responsible for prosecuting Mr Clarke for illegal possession of
ammunition were aware of the fact that the police and soldiers were
associated with the incident. We are told that a police-army patrol was
involved, so why weren't the soldiers and all those associated with the
incident that led to Mr Clarke's subsequent prosecution interviewed? Are
we now dragging Jamaicans before our courts based solely on police
evidence, despite the existence of other evidence?

Why should Mr
Clarke, or any Jamaican, for that matter, have to languish before the
courts for three years and then finally hear the prosecution admit, on
the production of evidence that always existed, that the police evidence
was fabricated?

Does the prosecutor, as an officer of the court,
not have a responsibility to ensure that justice is done by interviewing
witnesses, and where evidence might not be in favour of the
prosecution, that such evidence not be concealed, but turned over to the
accused or defence?

We are now calling for the scalp of the
police who fabricated the evidence against Mr Clarke, and rightly so,
but what about others who most certainly must have or should have been
aware of the existence of the soldiers' evidence that contradicted the
police's evidence?

Are we now saying, three years after the
incident, that the report or evidence of the soldiers was only known
three weeks ago, and only because Mr Clarke's attorneys requested it?
Does the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) no longer debrief its patrols, and
are the commanders of such patrols not required to provide reports on
the activities of their patrols?

WHY NOW?

I suspect
that such a report was made by the soldiers from as far back as 2011.
Therefore, one must ask why that report was not made to the commissioner
of police and the director of public prosecutions (DPP) then. Who is it
in the JDF who has either deliberately, or by neglect, withheld this
evidence, allowing an innocent Jamaican to suffer for the past three
years?

It is hoped that either the Independent Commission of
Investigations or the DPP will probe this slackness and make accountable
not only the police, but also those in the JDF responsible for
unprofessional, if not illegal, conduct.

It is also my hope that
should Mr Clarke take civil action, and should there be an award for
damages for unlawful arrest, then those in the JCF and JDF who were
complicit in what appears to be an attempt to conceal evidence should be
called upon to pay from their pockets, and not the State.

ALLAN DOUGLAS

Retired Colonel

alldouglas@aol.com