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SSP Lewis says action to be taken against cops in bribery case

SSP Lewis: Mediation was to prevent injustice against the citizen

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator - Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 26, 2013    

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Disciplinary action may be brought against the two police sergeants who were involved in the arrest of businessman Bruce Bicknell for bribery.

This was disclosed yesterday by Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, head of the Police Traffic Division, while being cross-examined in the perversion of justice trial of Bicknell and Senior Superintendent James Forbes in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

The sergeants in question are Jubert Llewellyn and Dellon Lewis, who participated in a meeting in April 2012 that resulted in the bribery charge against Bicknell being dismissed without him having to attend court as was scheduled. Both men have given evidence for the prosecution in the current case.

Senior Superintendent Lewis was being asked by Queen's Counsel KD Knight (representing Bicknell) if department charges would be brought against Lewis or Llewellyn for disobeying his directive that the bribery matter against Bicknell should be brought before the court.

"When this case is over they will be charged," Lewis responded.

"[It is] over a year now and they will be charged," Knight questioned. "Is that your sense of justice?"

"It is justice," said Lewis.

During his examination-in-chief in the morning session of the sitting, Lewis said he had instructed the men to take Bicknell's matter to court.

Asked by the prosecution about the manner in which a case is dealt with when a person is charged, Lewis said that the matter would have to go through the court and all the relevant documents served. He said this is done to ensure transparency and avoid allegations of corruption. At the same time, Sgt Lewis said that there is no force policy or regulation preventing a senior officer from intervening in a matter that he or she thinks may result in a "great injustice" against a citizen.

Bicknell was arrested on April 9, 2012 and charged with bribery after he was stopped by Llewellyn and ticketed for speeding. Llewellyn testified in court that he wasn't certain if Bicknell was trying to bribe him when he found two $1,000 bills among motor vehicle documents Bicknell gave him. Days later, Forbes, Llewellyn, Lewis, Bicknell, and another person met in Forbes' Oxford Road offices in Kingston, where it was decided that the case against Bicknell would be done away with.

Llewellyn testified, under cross-examination, that he participated in the mediation of the matter in order to correct an error that was made when Bicknell was arrested and charged.

Yesterday, Lewis — who agreed during questioning by Knight that one of the reasons for mediation was to prevent injustice against the citizen — said that in the case involving Bicknell he wouldn't have taken the course that the men took in calling and participating in the meeting which resulted in Bicknell not going to court.

The matter is scheduled to continue on September 19.

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