Former Antigua cops freed on drug charges

Friday, July 26, 2013

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Lawyers for two former police officers say they will probably seek legal redress from the state after a magistrate dismissed five drug related charges against their clients.

Police had claimed that Arleigh Byer and Cosbert Sergeant, who faced joint charges of possession, possession with intent, drug trafficking, possession with intent to sell, and conspiracy to traffic 35 kilos cocaine, were also allegedly custodians of the house in which 34-year-old Alwin Robin and Dermoth Alix Riviere, 32, both of Dominica, were found shot dead execution style with wounds to the head.

The drugs had a street value of one million dollars (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents).

But on Thursday, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh dismissed the five indictable drug charges against the former cops.

The dismissal of the charges followed a no-case submission. Attorney Steadroy Benjamin described the charges as malicious prosecution.

“The defendants had no case to answer because there was no evidence to support any charge laid against them by the prosecution. This clearly shows that the prosecution knew from the get go there was no basis to lay the charges,” defence attorney Lawrence Daniel said.

The two former police officers now face 15 allegations of money laundering and remain on EC$800,000 bail.


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