From the Courts
May 7, 2010
Witness statement questioned

The admissibility of a witness statement from the police officer who transcribed the statements made by Elwardo “EG” Lynch is being questioned by lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Browne.{{more}}

Lynch, host of Nice Radio’s political programme “New Times”, is charged with making statements on August 23, 2007, on air, that Assistant Commissioner of Police Lenroy Brewster and Government senator Julian Francis were in the company of boat operator, Anthony “Que Pasa” Gellizeau, at a beach on the Leeward end, at night, between August 4-23, 2007.

At the re-commencement of the trial on Monday at the Serious Offences Court, Bacchus Browne objected to the statement given by Police Constable Charlene Bute, which repeated verbatim what Lynch said in 2007.

In her testimony, Bute, attached to the Special Branch of the local constabulary, said that on the 23 and 24th of August 2007 she was listening to the New Times program when Lynch made the comments. As an officer at the Special Branch office, Bute said one of her duties was to listen to call-in radio programmes. She added that she used audio tapes to record the entire programme.

Bute said the following day Lynch made the alleged statements again. “When I was listening on the 24th, I heard Mr Lynch state that the RRU officers were disbanded because they refused to take a lie detector test,” she stated. At the conclusion of the programme, Bute said she listened to the recordings of both days and transcribed what was said. She then handed over the audio tapes and the hand-written transcripts to her superior, Station Sergeant Charles Allen, who kept them in his possession. A typed copy of the transcript was also handed over, but it was not stated who had typed the document.

When Allen took the witness stand last week, he said the audio tapes and transcripts were handed over to him by Bute and that he then handed them over to Assistant Superintendent of Police, Stanford Hamilton.

However, in the police statement given by Bute on October 10, 2007, she said that all that was included in the statement was also included in the transcripts, including the verbatim of Lynch’s statements.

In her objection, Bacchus-Browne submitted that Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, never gave the defence the hand-written transcript that Bute allegedly wrote and the chain of custody of the transcripts and audio tapes had not been established. She further contended that it was impossible for Bute to have the verbatim of what was said by Lynch included in her police statement. “How can this be possible? There is only the typed copy. She never signed the transcripts, and it was not dated…she also said that the audio tapes and transcripts were in the custody of Allen, so how could she include all that verbatim,” Bacchus-Browne questioned.

The DPP also conceded that he has never seen the hand-written transcript.

Bacchus Browne also indicated that the transcript does not correspond with Bute’s witness statement. “This transcript is 19 pages and the statement only has 12…Where did she get it from? the transcript should have been in the hands of the police,” Bacchus-Browne added.

Senior Magistrate Sonya Young was also perplexed as to how all the verbatim could be included in Bute’s police statement. “Miss Browne makes a valid point, Mr DPP. Bute said she handed over the transcripts to Allen. how did she get them?” Young asked.

Young had made a decision not to enter Bute’s statement into evidence, but later changed her decision and adjourned the matter for both sides to address on the authority of the statements. The matter will come back up for hearing on Monday May, 10.

Antonio “Que Pasa” Gellizeau is also expected to take the stand for the defence.