Lawyer, JP square off in court - Tempers flare in multimillion-dollar cocaine case
Attorney-at-law Dionne Meyler and a justice of the peace (JP) exchanged heated words in the St James Parish Court yesterday as the trial of the two men who were held in a Guardsman security vehicle with 66 kilograms of cocaine in 2013 begins to take shape.
Meyler, who is representing Owen Glaze, who was arrested and charged alongside Andrew Brown, had a testy exchange with justice of the peace Lennox Wallace, who was giving evidence about a caution statement Glaze had signed while in the custody of the police on April 21, 2013.
The statement in question was signed one day after Glaze and Brown, who were reportedly travelling in a marked security vehicle along the Mt Carey main road in St James, were taken into custody by the police following the seizure of the cocaine, which was valued at $264 million.
"I asked him (Glaze) if he was aware that he could seek an attorney privately or get one provided by the Government. He said he was aware," Wallace told the court in his evidence-in-chief.
"Did you at any time tell Mr Glaze that he had the right to remain silent?" attorney Meyler asked Wallace during her cross-examination.
"I did not," said Wallace.
"I put it to you that you never advised Mr Glaze of his right to an attorney," said Meyler.
"That is not true," replied Wallace sternly, seemingly annoyed by the suggestion.
... Accused not given anything to eat?
Attorney Dionne Meyler further infuriated JP Lennox Wallace when she went on to accuse him of not doing due diligence in his role as a JP in handling Glaze's matter.
"Were you aware that he (Glaze) was not allowed to see any visitors up to the time of the caution statement and that he had not been given anything to eat?" asked Meyler.
"I was not aware," Wallace said without hesitation.
"I suggest that you failed in your duty as a JP on behalf of Mr Glaze when you allowed this caution statement to go through," Meyler stated.
"That is not true," declared Wallace, with a stern look at the lawyer.
Following the close of the witness testimony, presiding judge Natalie Hart-Hines set the matter for continuation on June 6 when two police witnesses are expected to testify for the prosecution.
So far, the court has heard evidence from detective sergeant Byron Miller, who, at the time of the incident, was a member of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force, and Norman Hall, another JP who was present during Glaze's caution statement.