Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Former director replies to MOCA officer’s email

Published:Tuesday | November 5, 2019 | 12:06 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:

The police officer attached to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), who was responsible for finding a former director of the Manchester Municipal Corporation to testify in the multimillion-dollar fraud trial, revealed yesterday that he received an email from her three weeks ago.

In previous testimony, the MOCA representative said he sought to ascertain her whereabouts by visiting the offices of the local authority and an address in Barbary Hall, St Elizabeth. He said that he had also been unsuccessful in reaching her on a number she had previously provided and via social media. He also made checks with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency and sent an email.

He told the court then that he had not received a response to an email sent to the former director in July 2019.

WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE

Another email was sent on October 14, to which he said he received a response that also acknowledged the first email sent in July.

As prosecution sought to have the emails tendered and admitted into evidence, the defence said there were too many grounds on which to disallow the document.

Attorney Norman Godfrey said he found it curious that the officer would send an email on October 14 to the potential witness and make no mention of it in his testimonies thereafter.

The prosecution stated that though the officer sent the email on October 14, it was on October 16 that he would have checked his email and retrieved the information.

Presiding Judge Ann-Marie Grainger said she, too, found it strange that the officer would have found it relevant to disclose his efforts to locate the potential witness by visiting Barbary Hall in St Elizabeth but would not also state that he had sent a further email.

However, she said that in light of when the information would have come to light, the Crown should be allowed to use this evidence.

The defence suggested that the witness purposefully withheld information, asking him again why it was not revealed.

The MOCA officer replied saying he gave responses to the questions he was asked.

Attorney Danielle Archer later questioned the witness on the contents of the email and whether he had told the former director that she would be needed as a witness.

He said no.

Archer later asked if the first time he told the director that she would be needed was on October 14.

He said no, pointing out that there were other correspondences such as the message sent via Facebook.

The defence maintained that something should have been said about the email and that such an important email response should not have been retrieved two days later.

As it regards the application that was made to have the former director’s statements admitted, the judge is yet to make a ruling.

Another witness from Tax Administration Jamaica was called to the witness stand yesterday afternoon to speak on a request made of her by MOCA to value Daley’s Grove property in the parish.

She is expected to return to the stand tomorrow.

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