Defence questions why former gangster wasn’t charged
The lead investigator in the Clansman-One Don Gang trial yesterday told the court that the ex-gangster, who is the prosecution's second witness, was never charged by the police because he was not a suspect in any of the criminal cases under investigation.
The admission came after he was being grilled by defence attorney Denise Hinson about why the ex-gangster was not charged.
"But he told you from his own mouth that he was involved in the criminal acts that the gang had carried out, so why wasn't he charged?" she asked.
The investigator replied "There are other investigations taking place. What we did was a gang investigation which ended up with these people being charged."
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes also questioned why the main witness was not charged after he had "bare his soul" and confessed that he was a member of a criminal organisation and had even helped the police to recover two illegal firearms. According to the judge, the police must have believed the ex-gangster given that the defendants are on trial.
But the investigator maintained that after the police had investigated the witness, he did not appear as a suspect in any of the cases under investigation.
Hinson also grilled the investigator about why it had taken the police eight months to bring her clients on an identification parade or to charge them.
She first asked the investigator who started the gang probe in November 2018, and why it had taken until July 2019 to have an identification parade for defendant Danovan Richards.
But the police witness told her that he did not arrested her client and did not know how long he had been in custody. Further, he said when he was told that Richards was a member of the gang, he could not serve him immediately with the identification parade documents.
The lawyer then asked him why he waited until July 2019 to charge defendant Michael Whitely, who was in custody from 2018. The cop said the police were not yet ready for Whitely. The witness admitted that he could not account for the period that the defendant was in custody before July 2019.
Meanwhile, the second of three phones that were reportedly used by the ex-gangster to secretly record conversations with alleged cronies was entered into evidence yesterday during the trial in the Home Circuit Court. However, another attempt to get the other phone admitted failed after the lead investigator was unable to retrieve the IMEI number using a dial-up method which he had testified that he had previously used as the phone was locked.
Cross-examination of the investigator will continue today.