Beautiful Virgin Islands

Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

Perjury case against indicted police officer dismissed

Perjury case against indicted police officer dismissed

The criminal charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice against interdicted police officer Marley Sebastien have been dismissed for want of prosecution.
According to the Prosecution, the accused cop was a witness in the matter of the Queen vs Pamphill Prevost and Simon Power; both of whom were interdicted police officers at the time, charged with theft and conspiracy to steal. Prevost and Power were first on trial in 2019. However, that trial resulted in a mistrial as the jury could not agree on the verdict. The retrial commenced on February 1, 2022 and ended a month later with the acquittal of the officers after a no-case submission by the defence.

Sebastien, who has been a police officer for more than 18 years and was part of former Premier Andrew Fahie’s security detail, was accused of giving contradictory evidence to his sworn testimony in the first trial, when he appeared at the second trial of the accused officers.

When his case appeared before the Magistrate’s Court, Sebastien was represented in the matter by defence attorney Valston Graham while the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was represented by Principal Crown Counsel Kellee-Gai Smith. 

Graham noted that his client was charged without a foundation and argued that the Prosecution claimed Sebastien gave much more evidence this time around than he did in 2019. 

Graham further argued that when the Prosecution first laid the charges against his client in March 2022, they were not in possession of a transcript of Sebastien’s evidence. 

“The Prosecution is claiming that they only received a transcript on Thursday of this week gone, so they charged him really without any foundation,” Graham stated. 

He said senior Magistrate Tamia Richards had previously given a deadline to prosecutors for disclosure of evidence to the defence, but said this was not met. Another magistrate, Khadeen Palmer, later gave a further December 2 deadline to the Prosecution but this too was missed, Graham explained. 

He said prosecutors came with the “same lame excuse” that they just obtained the transcript last week, but this was not accepted by Magistrate Palmer. 

Graham described the Prosecution’s stance as ridiculous and said the same transcript the DPP could not obtain previously, was obtained by the defence from the High Court registry on September 15. 

“The magistrate decided now that she had enough, and she dismissed the matter for want of prosecution,” he explained.

Graham said the Office of the DPP is entitled to re-lay the charges against his client if it so desires. However, he noted that those charges will be met with the full force of defence if this happens.

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