No lucky X-cape ... Attorney said not guilty was the only possible verdict

October 25, 2016
FILE Patrick Atkinson
File Businessman Patrick Powell enters a BMW X5 motor vehicle after walking free from the Supreme Court on Monday.
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Former attorney general Patrick Atkinson who defended Patrick Powell in the 'X6 murder trial' said the court of public opinion unfairly convicted his client.

Powell, a businessman, was yesterday freed of murder and shooting with intent in relation to the death of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais.

"There are many cases where I hear the public have convicted a person, and when you look at the evidence it is clear that they were innocent," Atkinson said.

"One such case I would say is the Braeton case. That Braeton murder case against those officers. When you look at the evidence, it was clear in my mind beyond a reasonable doubt, a shadow of a doubt that those officers where innocent, certainly at Braeton and everybody in the public had found them guilty."

the evidence

Atkinson was for a brief while Powell's lawyer before he gave up private practice after he was elected to Parliament in late 2011. However, after serving only one term as a parliamentarian, during which time he was the attorney general, Atkinson went back to private practice. He again led Powell's defence with Deborah Martin by his side. According to the veteran lawyer, the only result possible in the case was not guilty.

"You have to look at what the evidence is in court, and based on what the evidence was, this was the only possible outcome that they could have had. The DPP could have gone ahead and just wasted peoples time by calling witnesses when she knows it won't improve its case," Atkinson said.

"When you have a case that is based on one eyewitness, it's basically what this man wants to say. And the situation was from day one you seem to be having a problem and it seem to me that there was a problem. The first statement he gave was that he don't know who ... him don't know which car, and him don't know the shooter," Atkinson said.

"And then him change that," the lawyer added.

THE STAR asked Atkinson how his client felt to have been found not guilty.

"He must feel relieved. I don't have to speak to him to know that. For five years, a charge hanging over his head. If you have a traffic ticket which is outstanding, you worry about it much less a murder case."

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