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Thursday 18 October 2018
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Judge: Shaking down the State for money must stop

Judge dismisses malicious prosecution case

A HIGH court judge says the feeling by some to “shake down the State for money” after their criminal charges are dismissed, must stop.

Justice Frank Seepersad said in recent times there have been far too many cases of malicious prosecution lawsuits being filed in the high court where the evidence fell short of proving malice on the part of the police.

He made the observations after dismissing the case of Brian Lynch who sued the State for malicious prosecution after he was charged with trafficking marijuana in 2010.

Lynch, who had four previous convictions for drug related charges, claimed the 2010 charges were fabricated by the police.

In ordering Lynch to pay $14,000 in legal costs, Seepersad told lawyers to advise their clients properly when bringing malicious prosecution cases, since the dismissal of a prosecution in the magistrates court was just one of the elements required to justify the allegation.

Lynch had been arrested on February 23, 2010, after police executed a search warrant at his house at Hibiscus Drive, Pleasantville.

He claimed police framed him and never found marijuana or marijuana seeds at his home. He was charged with drug trafficking, but his case dismissed in November 2012, after the police officer who charged him failed to turn up in court on the 24 times the matter was called.

PC Kevin Vialva, who testified at the short trial in the Port of Spain High Court yesterday, said he got mixed up with the dates.

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