TWO Chaguanas men who claimed they were framed by police in 2003, were freed yesterday of charges of possession of counterfeit money and possession of marijuana by a High Court judge. Paul Granger, 56, and Shurlon Bailey, 42, were arrested and charged in 2003 but both maintained their innocence.
Yesterday, a jury took a little under an hour to find them not guilty. The matter was heard in the San Fernando Third Assizes Court by Justice Maria Wilson. Attorney Ramesh Deena represented Granger while Jared Ali represented Bailey.
The state’s case was that on February 21, 2003, the men were searched by police at a bar in Santa Flora. The police also searched a car the men were using and found a black plastic bag containing two grammes of marijuana and four counterfeit hundred dollar bills. The bag was between the two front seats.
Granger and Bailey maintained that the bag was planted in the vehicle by the police. The defense said Bailey sold clothes for a living as his aunt would sent him the items from abroad. On the day in question, Bailey contacted Granger to drive him around as he sold the clothes as his regular driver was not available. Granger agreed to do the job and rented a vehicle to take Bailey around.
The men made their way from Chaguanas to Couva, then to Point Fortin and Santa Flora where they were searched by the police. After leaving the court, Deena told reporters an injustice had been done as he had to wait 15 years before getting his day in court.