Cops scolded for seizing personal items not relevant to cases
Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey has chided local law enforcement personnel over the longstanding practice of seizing and holding onto personal items of accused persons that are not relevant to the case before the court.
Pusey’s slap came in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday after lawyers for Kingston attorney Dawn Satterswaite and her four co-accused sought to have personal properties seized by the police returned to them.
The properties include iPods, laptop computers, tablets and a table.
Attorney-at-law Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, who represents Satterswaite, says the police have informed her that they cannot locate the table, which was taken from her clients’ home.
Pusey ordered that the items be returned by next Friday and warned that the practice of what she calls a general sweep of people’s personal property must stop.
She noted that in some cases the properties are seized for long periods and says law enforcement personnel must become serious about observing the rights of citizens.
Satterswaite, along with Janet Ramsey, Paulette Higgins, Annmarie Cleary and Andre Hamilton, are charged with money laundering based on allegations that they are in possession of more than $500 million in property linked to a Jamaican drug dealer now serving a prison sentence in the United States.
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