Patrick Powell's lawyer cries foul ...Says public release of information on X6 driver's gun unfair
Deborah Martin, one of the lawyers representing St Andrew businessman Patrick Powell, said yesterday that she is stunned by the manner in which statements that could impact the outcome of her client’s gun trial is being discussed in the public space.
“This is a matter before the court and because it is a matter before the court, I find it amazing the kind of things that are being put in the public space, especially in terms of matters in which I gather there are ongoing investigations,” Martin said.
Powell is scheduled to face the court on November 18 to answer a charge of failure to hand over his firearm.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) have been trading blame about the manner in which a request by the cops to revoke Powell’s gun licence was been handled.
Powell was recently acquitted for the murder of Khajeel Mais, who was killed in 2011 when the taxi that he was travelling in was shot up. The gun, which the police said was used to shoot Mais, was never handed over to the police despite requests by the lawmen for Powell to do so.
Following claims earlier this month by the FLA that the JCF did not sufficiently support its request for the revocation of Powell’s firearm licences, the JCF yesterday said that claims by the former chairman of the FLA Errol Strong that the FLA was unable to revoke Powell’s firearm licence because the JCF investigators had not provided FLA with the documents that were requested are unfounded.
“The JCF is making it categorically clear that all information requested by the FLA was provided and documentary proof exists to support this claim,” the JCF said yesterday.
However, Martin is not amused by the tug-o-war between the two state entities. She said the pre-trial publicity will have an impact on a trial or an investigation.
“I find it unusual that the police are discussing an ongoing investigation into a matter in which an aspect is already before the court. I have no idea where the investigation will wind up,” Martin said. “It is a new norm I am realising to have investigations conducted in a public space.”