Parish judge, Vaughn Smith, has rejected a no case submission in the gun trial of businessman, Patrick Powell.
Powell’s lawyer, Deborah Martin, today made the no case submission, arguing that her client had a right to remain silent when police investigators asked him to turn over his gun for
inspection. This comes only three days into the trial taking place in the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Court.
Powell is before the court for failing to hand over his licensed firearm to the police when they requested it. But Ms. Martin says he was within his rights when he remained silent when
asked by the investigating officer, Superintendent Clive Walker, to produce his firearm for inspection.
She says Powell had the right to remain silent, the right to consult his attorney and the right not to incriminate himself.
At the time, Powell was a suspect in the 2011 murder of Kingston College student Khajeel Mais. She says the police officer interpreted Powell’s silence as a refusal or failure to comply with
his request. However, Presiding Judge Vaughn Smith rejected Deborah Martin’s argument and ruled in favour of the prosecution that Powell has a case to answer.
The prosecution says Powell was asked more than once to hand over his gun for inspection. Twice on July 11, 2011 in the presence of his attorney, and once again on July 20.
The prosecution says Powell was also given nine days between July 11 and 20 to produce the gun. Superintendent Walker had also volunteered to help retrieve it. But got no response from
Ms. Martin argued that under the Firearms Act, if one fails to hand over his weapon to the police there must be good cause.
She says Powell’s rights were his good cause. However, the prosecution says for good cause to be considered, the defence would first have to accept that Powell did refuse or fail to comply
with the request. The defence has maintained that Powell did not refuse or fail to comply.
Meanwhile, Justice Smith, approved a request by the defence for three witnesses to be called to testify.
One of the witnesses is Head of the St. Andrew Central Police, Superintendent Frank Buchanan.
He’s expected to give evidence in court tomorrow.