THREE men from Enterprise, Chaguanas were on Tuesday freed by a senior magistrate of charges relating to the 2015 murder of a man from the same area.
Dave Junior “Abdul Malik” Nesbitt, Adrian “Cudjoe” Clarke and Malcolm Quintin spent almost five years on remand before they were discharged by senior magistrate Rajendra Rambachan.
They were accused of killing Amos Dick who was shot at the corner of Mano Street and Postman Drive in Enterprise, Chaguanas on October 17, 2015.
Quintin was 17-years-old when he was charged along with Nesbitt and Clarke.
In September, Rambachan rejected an application from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to use the statement of its main witness, Crystal Lewis, who implicated the men before she migrated to the United States.
In its application, under Section 15 of the Evidence Act, prosecutors claimed Lewis could not be found although attempts were made to find her.
Rambachan rejected the application saying it was an “inescapable taint on this application” that affected its believability.
He also said, in assessing the application, the justice of the peace who certified the statement admitted Lewis did not provide him with any identification.
In resisting the application, it was also argued that the signature on the document was different from other signatures attributed to the woman on other documents.
The magistrate said the court was left with “an indelible suspicion” that it may not have been Lewis.
“It could have been anyone," Rambachan said.
Rambachan’s refusal to grant the application was not challenged on appeal and a second attempt was made to have the statement tendered into evidence using another section of the Evidence Act.
At Tuesday’s hearing, prosecutor Raydon Dalyrmple-Watts asked for the matter to be stood down so he could consult with DPP Roger Gaspard, SC. When he returned, he indicated the prosecution would no longer be seeking to have the statement tendered and would close is case against the men without Lewis’s evidence.
At this stage, attorneys for the men applied for them to be discharged on the basis that there was insufficient evidence linking them to the crime.
The submission was upheld.
The men were represented by attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Criston J Williams and Richard Jaggasar.