There were murmurs of disapproval from several police detectives in the Supreme Court Tuesday, when presiding judge in the Klansman Gang Trial, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, set free a fifth defendant.
The defendant, Dwayne Salmon, also known as ‘Chemist’ was charged with being a member of a criminal organisation.
Chief Justice Sykes upheld a no case submission against him.
The prosecution led evidence that Salmon sold guns and provided gun repair services to members of the Klansman Gang.
But according to his attorney, Kemar Robinson, Salmon had no case to answer as there was no evidence that he was a gang member.
Stevian Sappleton reports.
According to Chief Justice Sykes, the evidence presented by the Crown, at best, indicated that Salmon provided gunsmith services to the gang.
He says Salmon could be seen as an independent supplier.
Sykes also agreed that there was an absence of evidence that Salmon was loyal to the gang and questioned the availability of evidence that the defendant had any interest in the criminal organisation.
The chief justice said, “criminal trial is a specific forum where the prosecution must show the accused committed the crime for which he is charged. It’s not about whether he is a criminal generally, that’s irrelevant.”
In the meantime, the chief justice dismissed an application from the prosecution to amend the indictment, noting that this would cause severe injustice to the defendant.
According to Chief Justice Sykes, criminal trials are not Commissions of Enquiry where several criminal accusations are considered.
He says Salmon should be allowed to answer to the specific charges the prosecution has brought against him.
The chief justice also says a defendant who realises he’s been charged on the wrong indictment has no obligation to say to the court what he should instead be charged with.
Justice Sykes then said Salmon was not guilty on count two of the indictment and was free to go once the Crown has no further reason to extend his detention.
Some of the police personnel who were in the courtroom at the time murmured their disapproval after Chief Justice Sykes’ comments, with at least one of them walking out quietly.
Four other accused were freed of charges last Thursday.
They’re Damaine Elliston, Rushane Williams, Owen Ormsby and Rivaldo Hylton.