Monday, January 22, 2018

WPC committed to stand trial


State witness: Nicole Clement

Mark Fraser

POLICE constable Nicole Clement has been committed to stand trial for perverting the course of public justice through conspiracy.

Clement—who was charged with murder along with six of her colleagues before she became a State witness against them—will go on trial before a judge and jury.

The State, represented by senior counsel Gilbert Peterson and attorney Elaine Greene, closed its case yesterday before Princes Town Magistrate Debra Quintyne.

The matter had proceeded by way of paper committal, and 12 statements were tendered into evidence.

Three police officers took the witness stand yesterday, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Raymond Craig, Sergeant Arnold Sylvester and Constable Utam Ramdass, who identified their statements and exhibits in the case.

These were tendered into evidence without objection from defence attorney Pamela Elder, SC, who was instructed by attorney Richard Mason.

Last November, when the matter started, charging officer Sgt Michael Veronique and Sgt Hood also took the witness stand.

Following the close of the prosecution’s case, Elder made a no-case submission.

Quintyne told Clement there was sufficient evidence for her to be committed to stand trial at the next sitting of the assizes.

Clement, who was questioned as the magistrate read from a document, said she had no alibi and, at the time, did not wish to call witnesses or give evidence in the matter.

The charge was that between July 22, 2011, and October 27, 2011, in an attempt to pervert the course of public justice, she conspired together with Khemraj Sahadeo, Renaldo Riviero, Glenn Singh, Roger Nicholas, Safraz Juman and Antonio Ramadin and other persons by doing an act/series of acts which had the tendency to pervert the course of public justice.

Clement is free on $100,000 bail.

Quintyne told security officers the accused will have to be taken to the office of the Justice of the Peace to sign the document related to her bail.

She advised that after the documents were prepared that Clement be taken to sign.

Quintyne said members of the public should be kept out of the area until Clement was finished.

Clement was placed in the Witness Protection Programme after she became a State witness against murder accused Sergeant Sahadeo and Constables Riviero, Singh, Nicholas, Juman and Ramadin, who are charged with killing Moruga residents Abigail Johnson, Allana Duncan and Kerron “Fingers” Eccles at Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore, on July 22, 2011.

The six officers were committed to stand trial last year.

Yesterday, over a dozen armed police officers stood guard outside as the matter took place in the Princes Town First Court.

Heavily tinted sports utility vehicles were also parked outside and the street was blocked.