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November 10, 2012
Star News


Man impersonates JDF soldier

The issue of whether civilians can be charged for having military dog tags in their possession was a focal point in a matter involving a man who has been accused of impersonating a soldier.

Charged with uttering a forged document and possession of a forged document is Kibwae Small, who pleaded not guilty in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Friday.

A dog tag is a metal identity tag, usually worn on a chain around a soldier's neck.

Small, 27, is to return to court on January 11, and his bail has been extended.

He was also ordered by Resident Magistrate Lorna Shelly-Williams to be finger-printed.

Allegations are that on October 29, the police was on patrol in the Stony Hill, St Andrew, area when the accused was seen acting suspiciously.

It is alleged that Small was found with a dog tag in his possession and he identified himself as a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier.

The court was told that the accused is well known in his community as a JDF soldier, and he (Small) had told the cops that he had documents to prove that he is a member of the JDF.

However, Captain Chester Crooks, a member of the JDF, and an attorney at-law, told the court that checks made have revealed that Small is not a member of the JDF.

The captain also said that persons cannot be charged for impersonating a JDF soldier, unlike impersonating a cop.

In addition, the court was told that having a dog tag is not an offence.

Further checks are to be made in the matter to decide if there is a case against Small.

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