By Latrishka Thomas
The committal hearing for two men accused of perverting the course of justice after they allegedly bribed a young girl to drop a case of rape, wrapped up yesterday after a magistrate struck out a ‘no case’ submission.
The submission was made by attorney Andrew O’Kola and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions rebutted.
Magistrate Conliffe Clarke then pronounced that there is enough evidence against the male duo and sent the matter up to the High Court to be tried in the May assizes.
It is said that a police officer offered money to the 18-year-old girl he was charged with raping in exchange for her requesting that the legal action against him be discontinued.
It is further alleged that after she received several calls from the accused, the victim wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and asked him to withdraw the case.
The DPP, however, denied her request and directed that the matter should proceed to trial in the High Court.
But upon hearing of the new development, the case was withdrawn by Justice Iain Morley in the High Court in May 2020.
The DPP is said to be the one who directed the police to investigate the circumstances under which the complainant decided to request that the matter be dropped, and the alleged bribery attempt came to light.
The second man accused of perverting the course of justice is a businessman who allegedly asked the victim’s father to persuade her mother to have the case thrown out.
He reportedly offered to give the victim a scholarship if his request was met.
In December 2020, the two men appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh on the perverting the course of justice charge, and they were denied bail despite the robust efforts of one of the lawyers in the case, Wendel Robinson.
Robinson and O’Kola, the lawyer representing the officer, then applied for bail in the High Court and it was granted by Justice Morley.