Prosecution in Klansman trial making headway towards obtaining call data recordsWednesday, December 01, 2021
The prosecution in the trial involving 33 alleged members of the notorious Klansman gang on Wednesday morning indicated that the impasse over it obtaining call data records from the island's two major service providers might soon end.
The issue surfaced on Monday during the testimony of the lead police investigator in the case who disclosed that the police had faced "challenges" in obtaining call data records integral to the ongoing trial from the two mobile service providers.
The call data in question was specific to a drama-filled car chase in the old capital to intercept armed gangsters aboard a motor vehicle in an operation aided by intelligence from an ex-Klansman-turned-state witness through an open telephone line.
According to the investigator, he and another police team had been able to ascertain the travel path of the vehicle because of the phone which was in the possession of the witness.
A senior prosecutor, during further evidence being led regarding other cellphones confiscated from other alleged members during their arrests, indicated that the roadblock to the state obtaining call data records may soon be removed.
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes in enquiring whether the prosecution had resolved the issue was told that the prosecution had made some headway and would be updating the court on its progress by this Friday.
The chief justice in commenting on the issue said it should have been resolved during the case management process at which point, had the prosecution communicated its difficulties, the powers of the court could have been invoked to summon the parties in question. He had also gone further to ask the prosecution whether, having missed the ball during case management, it envisioned that it would need to invoke the powers of the court to persuade the delinquent service providers or whether it would be depending on moral persuasion.
The chief justices' remarks were applauded by senior defence counsel Lloyd McFarlane, attorney for alleged gang leader Andre "Blackman" Bryan who asked the sitting judge to "draw the line" in relation to the leeway given to the Crown to maneuver each time its case encounters a roadblock.