Trial stalled again in alleged cop corruption case

| 01/05/2014

(CNS): Although the crown has managed to present its full case against Elvis Ebanks in relation to allegations of corruption, the suspended cop has been delayed in responding to his accusers. The Grand Court judge presiding over the case was forced to adjourn the case for almosttwo weeks on Wednesday as a result of a juror being taken ill. Justice Charles Quin agreed to an application made by his defence attorney to wait until the juror is back to full health in order to continue the trial with a full panel of seven jurors. Ebanks is accused of taking a more than CI$500 bribe from a Filipino national suspected of stealing not to press charges.

Ebanks has denied the allegations as he claims that Len Ferarres, the man who said he found the phone at the Autospa car wash in Red Bay, offered the money to Ebanks as a loan.

The trial has been plagued with delays as a result of problems with interpreters as the first language offs the crown’s key witness was Tagalog. So far, two attempts by the crown to prosecute the case have failed after problems relating to the interpreters supplied to the courts to translate during the proceedings.

This is the first case under the anti-corruption law that has gone to trial and only the second case to be brought before the courts. Ebanks is also the first police officer to face charges as a result of the new law.

A civilian RCIPS employee was given a nine months suspended sentence in May 2013 after she pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in a public office. Patricia Webster was employed at George Town police station as a receptionist and was charged in October 2011 for misusing the police and immigration data systems. Webster had conducted one search on behalf of a former RCIPS employee who had wanted a friend’s phone number, which she found and passed on. She had also searched the confidential immigration databases to find out if a friend was the subject of a police investigation and if there was a stop notice on him but she was unable to confirm one way or another.

In that case the judge found that Webster was foolish and naive but had not received any pecuniary gain from her crime. Webster admitted making the searches but said she did not believe she had done anything wrong as she was merely trying to help friends.

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