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Witness accused of lying in cop's trial for murder

BY PAUL HENRY? Crime/Court Desk coordinator ?henryp@jamaicaobserver.com??

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 | 3:54 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — A witness in the murder trial of police Constable Rushton Hamilton has denied suggestions that he was lying to protect another police officer who is a friend of his.

The witness testified in the trial before the Home Circuit Court that Hamilton had told him that he (Hamilton) was going to take away the 14-year-old Jhaneel Goulbourne.

The witness also testified that the cop made the comment during a face-to-face meeting after he (the witness) told Hamilton what time the girl would be out of her house. The witness said that Hamilton had called and asked him to find out what time of day the girl would be outside.

The girl was kidnapped at her gate in Harbour View in St Andrew in October 2008 and has not been seen since. Her kidnapping followed a report to the police that led to Hamilton being charged with carnal abuse.

During cross-examination Wednesday, attorney Valerie Neita-Robertson suggested to the witness that he was not being truthful.

"The story you have given to the court about Rushton Hamilton is not true," the attorney said.

"Its true, ma'am. What would I have to gain?"

"It was part of a plan to cover for your friend McDonald," Neita-Robertson suggested.

"No, ma'am," the witness responded.

The witness previously gave evidence that he did not identify Hamilton during identification November 2008.

On Wednesday Neita- Robertson suggested that he could not identify Hamilton because he had never met him.

"The witness said he had met Hamilton and that he was unable to identify him on the ID parade because all nine men in the line-up had handkerchief over their heads with one eye each covered.

When asked by Neita-Robertson why he didn't tell the police sergeant conducting the parade that he could not properly see the faces of the men, the witness said it wasn't his job.

He also denied suggestions that he told an inmate at the Horizon Remand Centre, via cell phone, that he "had a plan for Hamilton".

He said he didn't know the inmate of whom Neita-Robertson spoke.

Another witness is to take the stand today.

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