Last Updated on Thursday, 23 March 2017, 10:43 by Derwayne Wills
Attorney-at-Law Latchmie Rahamat today, March 22, raised an allegation of attempting to pervert the course of justice against police prosecutor Corporal Deniro Jones in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
Latchmie represents Tiffany Peters, a 24-year-old former Magistrate’s Court clerk who was sentenced for stealing $3.2Million from the court in 2012.
Only last year Peters was pardoned by President David Granger, and was placed into the USAID SKYE programme, where she started a business in poultry farming. Peters was also a beneficiary of government’s Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Strategy (YEES) programme in August 2016.
Some time late last year when Peters attempted to obtain a police clearance from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Eve Leary, she was held and, once again, charged for stealing money from the Magistrates’ Court, but this time, a new sum of $1.127Million.
Peters was placed on self-bail in January last. Her trial came up before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan today as the police prosecution called upon its witness, police corporal Bridgelall. Bridgelall is the officer believed to have been handling Peters’s case since 2012.
The police prosecution today presented evidence before the court, but according to Peters’s lawyer, Latchmie Rahamat, there were documents which were not original and which were not even copies, but a copy of a copy.
Rahamat objected to the police prosecution’s evidence being presented in court, since the court can only consider original documents. “It is only with original evidence that prosecution in this trial can continue,” Rahamat told the court.
She went on to say that when a disclosure order was granted by the court for Peters’s defense counsel to receive documents relating to evidence, there were documents presented before the court today, which were not handed over by the police prosecution as part of the disclosure.
“The only documents served were a summary and a report,” Rahamat told the court.
It was then that Rahamat asked the court to record that her colleague, Attorney-at-Law Leslie Benjamin, observed a gentleman outside the courtroom signing original documents.
Rahamat went on to say that she received further information that after the documents were signed, they were brought into the court and handed over to the police prosecutor, Corporal Deniro Jones, while Bridgelall was giving evidence.
Rahamat said she will follow through with reporting the matter to the authorities, as she accused the police prosecution of “perverting the course of this trial.”
Police Prosecutor Corporal Deniro Jones, who is attached to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, was given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
After nearly 10 seconds of absolute silence, Jones said his witness, Corporal Bridgelall, informed that the documents, believed to be uncertified, were a true reflection of the documents issued on 23rd October, 2012, when Peters was arrested.
Jones asked the court for some to respond to the allegations made by Rahamat that the documents presented, including a police report and summary, which had neither signatures nor dates. The matter will come up again on March 28 in the Chief Magistrate’s courtroom.