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Forbes to know fate on Friday

Published:Wednesday | May 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Senior Superintendent James Forbes

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

The attorney for embattled Senior Superintendent James Forbes has urged a magistrate to put an end to his "trauma" and dismiss the corruption charges against him.

The plea by attorney-at-law Jacqueline Samuels-Brown was made in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday as she gave her closing argument in Forbes' corruption trial.

The senior police officer will know his fate on Friday when Resident Magistrate Stephanie Haisley-Jackson gives her verdict.

Forbes is on trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice, arising from an April 2012 meeting he facilitated at his St Andrew offices between businessman Bruce Bicknell and two police sergeants who had arrested Bicknell for allegedly offering them a bribe during a traffic stop in east Kingston.

Prosecutors have alleged that an agreement was reached at the meeting to dispose of the case against Bicknell before his court date.

However, seeking to persuade Haisley-Jackson to dismiss the charge against her client, Samuels-Brown argued that there was no evidence that Forbes brokered, initiated, instigated or "in any way provided authorship" for the agreement.

In addition, she asserted that prosecutors had not presented evidence to show that Forbes knew that Bicknell had been charged with an offence at the time of the meeting.

"Whatever action my client took cannot amount to perverting the course of justice," Samuels-Brown insisted.

Instead, she argued that Forbes was "sucked into a process that was already under way", a reference to claims she made that the decision to dispose of the case against Bicknell was taken before the meeting was convened.

"All he (Forbes) did [at the meeting] was to accommodate and summarise. Little did he know that a trap was to be set for him and he was to be sucked into a cyclonic storm of others' making," Samuels-Brown charged.

"The sad irony is that he found himself in this position because of what has been described as his impeccable character. I call upon you to put an end to this trauma," she urged the magistrate.

Bicknell, who was jointly charged with Forbes, was freed in March when the magistrate upheld a no-case submission filed by his attorneys.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com