TWO police officers testified yesterday that Jason Edwards, charged under the Anti-Gang legislation, was arrested during the State of Emergency a year ago on outstanding warrants and not for being a member of a gang.
Edwards, 35, of La Romaine, was one of 23 men arrested and brought before the San Fernando Magistrates' Court last August.
Charges against all except Edwards were later discharged after an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard.
Yesterday Sgt Hayden Manwarren, who charged Edwards, and Constable Roger Moses, who arrested the defendant, were recalled to the stand before Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan.
Under cross-examination by defence attorney Jason Jackson, Manwarren said Edwards was arrested on outstanding warrants but later charged with being a member of a gang as he had been seen with two others gang suspects.
Manwarren said an interview was conducted and a list containing names of different gangs and their members was provided. He also said he had a "brief history" with the three men.
He said between 15 and 17 gangs with an average of six members had been identified by the police.
He testified that the gang Edwards belonged to had no name and consisted of more than three members.
Edwards was in custody for four days and, during this time, one statement was recorded.
During their time in the witness box yesterday, both officers were shown extracts from the police station's diary dated September 1, 2011—the day Edwards was arrested.
Manwarren and Moses both read from the document that three other men had been taken into custody on that day for gang-related activities, but Edwards was arrested in relation to outstanding warrants.
Manwarren said he supervised the charging of ten to 15 men for gang-related activities.
Both said they cautioned Edwards several times upon his arrest and he was also cautioned during the interview.
Jackson said his client was never cautioned by the officers.
Manwarren admitted he did not attend training as an introduction to the anti-gang legislation.
Edwards is also charged with having, without reasonable excuse, a camouflage and water-resistant jacket as worn by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, having six rounds of ammunition, a magazine for a gun, 162 grammes of cocaine and 40 packets of marijuana, weighing 181 grammes.
He was allegedly found with the items in La Romaine.
The State is being represented by attorneys Stacy Lalloo-Chung, Anslem Leander and Chris Ramlal in the mater.
Rambachan adjourned the case to next week Friday.