The Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, has discontinued the murder case against two policemen who were charged with the abduction and murder of two men, ten years ago, along Washington Boulevard, in St. Andrew.
According to the DPP, it would be too expensive for the state to continue with the prosecution of the matter at this time.
The development in the so called ‘Boulevard Murder Case’, unfolded today in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.
Corporal Louis Lynch and Constable Paul Edwards were to face a retrial.
But today they walked out of court free men.
Their freedom, however, could be cut short.
DPP Llewellyn says she intends to re-open the case once amendments to the Evidence Act have been implemented.
DPP Llewellyn says she hopes the changes to the Act will be implemented by early next year.
Under the proposed Evidence Special Measures Act, criminal courts will be retrofitted to accommodate evidence by means of video links.
The DPP says it would have been very expensive for the State to undertake a retrial of the policemen because the Government had to pay significant costs to bring in five overseas witnesses for the first trial.
Four of them were expert witnesses.
She says in the first case which ended in January last year, the state spent approximately 20-million dollars to cover costs associated with the experts.
The country’s chief prosecutor says the defense would have wanted the witnesses to be present in court to facilitate cross-examination, and her office would have had a duty to facilitate this.
But the apparent high cost aside, the DPP says she had to balance the interest of justice.
She notes that the accused are ‘entitled to a trial in a reasonable time’ and the family of the victims deserve closure.
In the meantime, DPP Llewellyn notes that the policemen have not been acquitted.
Corporal Lynch and Constable Edwards were to be retried for the 2004 murder of 20-year-old Kemar Walters and 45-year-old Oliver Duncan, who were abducted from Washington Plaza, along the Washington Boulevard in St. Andrew on December 23, 2004.
Walters and Duncan were allegedly shot to death after being taken from the plaza.
Their bodies have not been recovered.
Another senior police man, Assistant Superintendent Victor Barrett, who was charged jointly with the other accused men, was acquitted in the first trial.