Defence attorney, King’s Counsel Valerie Neita Robertson has suggested that businessman Keith Clarke returned gunfire at the security forces during a military operation in May 2010. 

The suggestion was put to Clarke’s widow, Dr. Claudette Clarke, during cross-examination on Tuesday in the Supreme Court.

Clarke was shot and killed during the operation at his residence in Kirkland Heights, St. Andrew.

The operation was in search of convicted drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. 

Three soldiers, Lance Corporal Greg Tinglin, Corporal Odel Buckley, and Private Arnold Henry, are on trial for Clarke’s murder.

Robian Williams reports. 

It was revealed that the widow of businessman Keith Clarke, Dr. Claudette Clarke, said in a statement that her husband returned fire on the security forces in an attempt to protect his family.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, King’s Counsel Valerie Neita Robertson quoted these words from Dr. Clarke’s statement, “my husband used his licensed firearm and returned fire in defense of his family and property but was unable to withstand the sustained assault of the masked men with high powered weapons shooting on the house.”

When asked about the statement initially, Dr. Clarke said the words were familiar but she didn’t remember.

She was shown the physical copy of the statement, after which she stated, “I said it, but it was in relation to other things said in the statement. And at that time we did not know who was outside, we did not know. Because in normal operations police and soldiers don’t behave like that.”

Dr. Clarke said she didn’t see her husband firing any shots.

However, she added, “there was evidence that a police or a soldier got injured, my husband left the room, I didn’t follow him.”

KC Neita Robertson questioned, “But you made a statement that your husband fired at the police and soldiers outside; were you lying on your husband?”

In response, Dr. Clarke, who was visibly perturbed, said, “Madam, Madam, Madam, I assumed that he did, I didn’t see him.”

Dr. Clarke previously told the court that her husband told her and their daughter to go inside the bathroom and close the door.

She said she invited him into the bathroom, but he insisted on staying in the bedroom to protect his family.

While in the bathroom, Dr. Clarke said she called her neighbours and asked who was outside their house.

She testified, “I told my husband that the neighbours told me that it seems like there were police and soldiers outside.”

Dr. Clarke said her husband told her to call 119 because, “he didn’t hear any announcement and that’s not normally how police and soldier operate.”

KC Neita Robertson asked, “what view did you form from what your husband said after telling him that there were police and soldiers outside?”

Dr. Clarke responded, “To save my life, I didn’t have anytime to form any view. The house was still under attack I was just trying to save my life.”

The trial will resume on Monday morning at 10.