Two police officers have been freed of taking a $900 bribe to release a man they arrested for robbery in 2010.
Cpls David Joefield and Marvin St Rose were discharged by Magistrate Christine Charles in Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court, on Tuesday, after she upheld a no case submission from their attorneys.
The submission was made after Charles rejected an application from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to tender statements from its two main witnesses into evidence as they could not be located to testify and be cross-examined.
Charles stated that steps taken by prosecutors and the police to locate the witnesses were not reasonable to justify the application under Section 15 (c) of the Evidence Act.
Joefield and St Rose, who were last assigned to the Northern Division, were allegedly arrested during a sting operation in Barataria on June 21, 2010. They were both charged with misbehaving in public office by accepting a $900 bribe from a relative of Atiba Castillo, whom they had arrested earlier for suspicion of robbery.
Joefield was also charged with failing to execute an arrest warrant on Castillo for a separate case in which he was the complainant. Castillo was one of the two witnesses, who could not be located by police to testify in the case.
The decision in the case now clears the way for the officers to seek to be reinstated by the T&T Police Service (TTPS).
Joefield was represented by Shirvani Ramkissoon, while Larry Williams represented St Rose.
Reporter: Derek Achong