Right of reply: Police carried out proper court prosecution

Right of reply from Commissioner of Police

23 February 2016, 5:47pm
Reference is made to the result of a case concerning an incident which occurred in Paceville in 2013 where the offenders were acquitted because the prosecution did not produce evidence and witnesses in court.

From out inquiries, contrary to what was reported, it result that the prosecution, namely the Inspector mention, produced a number of witnesses both in favour and against the accused. These consisted of a police sergeant who tendered evidence on 20 February 2014, and a police constable who tendered evidence on the 2 September 2013, regarding the investigations.

The medical doctor who examined the victim gave evidence on 24 October 2013 and the main witness, namely the victim Rhida Shoaibe, gave evidence on the 2 September 2013. The investigating officer gave evidence and produced all the necessary documentation on the 24 October 2013.

Shoaibe appeared only once in court when he gave evidence. He was also represented by an attorney. The investigating officer also contacted the victim several times to furnish any other witnesses he wished to summon in court but none were given.

Hence, the above clearly shows that all evidence known to the police was produced in court.

Community and Media Relations Unit,
f/Commissioner of Police

Editorial note:

The report in question, which was written using the court's own final judgment for reference, does not say that "the prosecution did not produce evidence and witnesses in court" nor does it purport that the police did not produce all the evidence known to it, but reports the magistrate as noting that there "were or may have been a number of eyewitnesses who saw the incident" who had not been produced by the prosecution or the defence. Any implied criticism of the police investigation is the magistrate's.

The journalist was given a copy of the final judgment, which if the appeal term has elapsed, is now a res judicata. If not, the proper forum for the CMRU to air its grievances is by filing an appeal, not a right of reply.