Keith Clarke trial to continue

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Keith Clarke trial to continue

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Constitutional Court delivered the ruling in the Claudette Clarke (administratrix of the Keith Clarke estate) versus Greg Tinglin and others this morning at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.

Lance corporals Tinglin and Odel Buckley and private Arnold Henry are to be tried for the May 2010 killing of Clarke at his Kirkland Heights, St Andrew home during the hunt for then Tivoli Gardens don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

The army said Clarke's house was raided based on intelligence that Coke may have been hiding there.

An autopsy revealed that Clarke was shot more than 20 times.

Below is a summary of the judgement, read by Justice Leighton Pusey this morning:

We are very mindful of the importance of this matter in many respects, but in particular the persons who are before the court and those affected by this particular issue.

We understand that anything we have decided will be open to some amount of discussions and we would remind the attorneys and others that when discussions about anything that is done here, one has to be very careful that there is likely to be a jury trial in this matter some time in the future and therefore discussions need to be very careful.

We realised that in some of the pleadings the regulations were referred to.

The matter first came before the court in 2012.

In summary, this court concludes that:

• The minister's power to issue good faith certificates do not infringe and are not in conflict with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the constitution.

• The emergency powers regulations do not infringe on the prosecutorial powers of the Director of Public Prosecutions under the constitution.

• The criminal proceeding should be restored to the trial list.

A majority of the court concluded that:

• In the circumstances of this case the issuing of the good faith certificates was manifestly unfair and unreasonable and therefore the good faith certificates are null, void and invalid.

• The first three defendants may not rely upon the good faith certificates at the trial of this matter.

It is hereby ordered as follows:

• That the criminal trial initiated by virtue of the voluntary bill of indictment originally issued in July 2012 by then Director of Public Prosecutions should be restored to the trial list and be permitted to continue.

• That the good faith certificates or any certificate issued on the 22nd of February 2016 by the Minister of National Security outside of the emergency period were issued in circumstances that were manifestly unreasonable and unfair and are therefore null and void and without effect.

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