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Second subpoena for witness in three cops' corruption case

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

Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:The Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday issued a second subpoena for a prosecution witness in the case against three policemen who allegedly took more than $320,000 from a motorist in exchange for not prosecuting him earlier this year.

Clerk of the Court Natalie Malcolm made the request to presiding magistrate Carolyn Tie when the case against Corporals Joseph Robinson and Robert Thomas, and Constable André Small, who are charged with breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act, was mentioned in court yesterday.

In her application, Malcolm reminded the court that a previous subpoena had been issued for the same absent witness.

"On the last occasion, the investigating officer was to serve a subpoena on the witness ... . He has been able to contact the witness by telephone, and the witness is unwilling to come forward," said Malcolm. "I am going to ask for another subpoena in this matter."

Tie subsequently ordered that the new subpoena be prepared and served on the witness and extended the three police officers' bails until January 27, 2015, when the case against them will be mentioned.

It is alleged that on June 21, at approximately 3 a.m., Robinson and Small intercepted the male complainant and his girlfriend along Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay. They conducted a search of the vehicle, and $140,000 was reportedly found in the glove compartment.

Demanded money

It is further alleged that the complainant was asked to provide his driver's licence and motor-vehicle documents, but he was unable to produce them. It was then that the policemen allegedly demanded money for not prosecuting the complainant, and he reportedly gave them US$1,720 (J$196,028.40).

The policeman is also said to have demanded that the couple go to an ATM machine to get more money, but they refused.

The couple was then allegedly taken to the Montego Bay Police Station where Thomas reportedly spoke to the other officers and asked the male complainant for an additional $10,000.

Thomas also allegedly instructed the complainant to leave his car documents and jewellery behind.

A report was made to the Anti-Corruption Branch and a sting operation was set up in which Thomas was arrested. Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of Robinson and Small.