Soldier cleared of charges by court martial

A lance corporal in the Army has been cleared of a series of charges against him which alleged he harassed a subordinate and also conducted in a manner unbecoming of a soldier.

Lance Cpl Keston Greene was slapped with nine charges arising out of two alleged incidents which took place in 2019 at Camp Ogden, Long Circular Road, St James.

At a recent court martial, verdicts of not-guilty were ordered to be returned in his favour after Judge Advocate Ian Roach up-held a no-case submission advanced by Greene’s attorney Arden Williams.

In his no-case submission, Williams, who was assisted by attorney Mariah Puckerin, argued that the evidence of the prosecution against his client was manifestly unreliable as the cross-examination of the three witnesses gave rise to a number of inconsistencies and patent contradictions.

In his ruling, Roach found the prosecution in Greene’s matter did not establish a prima facie case on the nine charges laid against him.

“My task is not to determine whether or not the prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt or to determine the innocence or guilt but is confined to assessing whether or not the evidence has established a prima facie case for the defence to answer,” he said in his ruling.

As he examined the evidence led to support the first six charges, the judge advocate described it as “inherently weak, inconsistent and manifestly discredited.”

On the remaining three charges, Roach noted they were lacking in particulars and were too vague to call on Greene to answer.

After directing the members of the board – which acts as a jury in a military court martial – to return the not-guilty verdicts, Roach told Greene what has been determined was not whether he was guilty or innocent but if there was sufficient evidence to call on him to answer the charges laid.

He described it as a “technicality of law.”

It was suggested to Greene that he reflect on the reason he was before the court and the fact that he was a solider in the military.

Greene was also advised by the president of the military jury panel to be always aware of his responsibilities to manage and maintain discipline as any wavering of these, of executing his role as a disciplinarian, may cause to compromises his professional bearing.

“So focus should be on being technically, tactically and administratively proficient; do your duties diligently in order to serve your subordinates while satisfying the commanders’ intent,” he was advised.

At the time of alleged infractions, Greene was a sentry on barrack guard at the camp.

Comments

"Soldier cleared of charges by court martial"

More in this section