After appearing at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday, two Policemen were remanded to prison on charges of corruptly accepting money and attempting to do so.
Appearing alongside their lawyers before Chief Magistrate (ag) Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus were Police Constables Julian Smartt, 30, and Winston Williams, a 25-year-old.
Constables Smartt and Williams faced a joint charge, which read that on November 29 at the Prashad Nagar Police Outpost, while being agents of the government, they attempted to obtain $150,000 from Qi Li Lin as inducement from the said Qi Li Lin, to forgo prosecution for these offences: restriction on handheld device use while driving, uninsured motor vehicle, and unlicensed motor vehicle; an act in relation to their principal duty.
It is further alleged that on November 29, Constable Williams obtained $30,000 from Qi Li Lin as inducement from the said Qi Li Lin, to forgo prosecution for the above-named offences; an act in relation to his principal duty. They were not required to plead to the indictable charges.
Both Constable Smartt of Lot C 14 Guyhoc, Georgetown, and Constable Williams of Lot 406 Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD) have been interdicted from duty.
Constables Smartt and Williams were represented by Attorneys-at-Law Patrice Henry and Jevon Cox, respectively. Both lawyers asked the court to grant their clients reasonable bail, stating that their clients posed no flight risk and that they would be compliant with any bail requirements.
Henry said that his client could not afford to post a $10M station bail.
However, Police Legal Advisor, Attorney-at-Law, Mandel Moore, opposed the two being released on bail, pointing out that the offences are serious and carry a severe penalty.
Additionally, he made reference to the defendants’ oath of service and protection as members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
Both Police ranks were ultimately remanded to prison after being denied bail.
The magistrate gave an explanation for her decision to deny bail, citing the gravity and frequency of the offence as well as the interest of the public.
She did, however, let the Policemen’s attorneys know that they could ask a Judge to grant bail. The next date for this matter is December 20.
Police headquarters had announced on Tuesday that after receiving a report of an alleged $8M robbery committed on Qi Li Lin, a thorough probe was carried out, resulting in the arrest of Constable Smartt and Constable Williams.
The Police had said that evidence had revealed that the Police Constables, both conspired with the principal offenders, to rob the virtual complainant of his property.
Police had said they were on the hunt for the principal offenders.
“Detectives are in possession of evidence showing Constable Smartt taking the suspects to the crime scene. After the robbery was committed, Smartt and Williams (both of whom were on motorcycles and in uniform) were seen escorting the suspects to an area known as Rasville [in Georgetown],” a statement from the Police said.
“A file was prepared and sent to the Police Legal Advisor Mr Mandel Moore, who advised that, based on the facts, there is sufficient evidence to charge both accused jointly with the offence of ‘Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, to wit Robbery Under Arms, contrary to Section 34 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act, Chapter 8:01,” the statement added.
Police had also said that the cops were scheduled to be arraigned on this charge on Tuesday.
However, Attorney Henry informed this publication on Wednesday that the Police were forced to withdraw the charge due to a lack of supporting evidence. He reasoned that the Police could only file the charge if they managed to track down the two masterminds.