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Accused cops case: Key Crown witness has trouble recalling details

The building that houses the High Court in Road Town, Tortola.

The strength of the Prosecution’s case against the three interdicted policemen accused of conspiracy to steal appeared to have somewhat weakened on Monday after one of its key witnesses had difficulties remembering specific details of the incidents that allegedly happened more than six years ago.

Police Officer Royston DaSilva was one of the whistleblowers in the matter involving the accused policemen — Pamphil Prevost, Simon Power, and Shawn Henry.

Last week, he testified that police had seized a pillowcase that was full to the top with cash inside a Cane Garden Bay apartment back in December 2012. He, however, claimed that the monies inside the pillowcase were considerably depleted after it was reportedly last seen in the custody of Prevost.

When DaSilva returned to court for cross-examination yesterday (February 12), he was unable to assist the court in a number of areas.

When asked to state whether the pillowcase being used as evidence in the court case was the same as the one he saw up close during the seizure back in 2012, DaSilva said: “It fits the exact description”. However, he was unable to affirm whether it was the same pillowcase.

He was also unable to say with certainty whether photos of an apartment that were shown to him in court, was the same apartment where the operation/cash seizure had happened.

“It was a room similar to that I went to,” he responded.

He further said that the hallway and the lighting in the apartment were similar. “That’s all I can remember,” he said.

Even when he was shown photos of the detainees who were in the apartment at the time, Officer DaSilva said: “I can’t say for certain that these are the exact people.”

DaSilva was also unable to recall the date that he along with another officer had returned to the Cane Garden Bay apartment to obtain photographic evidence. He said he couldn’t remember the exact date or year nor could he recall if photos were in fact taken by himself or by the other officer during the operation.

Money in pillowcase exaggerated?

In the meantime, Customs Officer Anette Moses, who also testified as a Crown witness, said the pillowcase was less stuffed than what DaSilva had described in his testimony to last week.

She said the pillowcase in the photos and the one shown to her in the court yesterday were one and the same. She also was able to confirm that the apartment she went to during the joint operation was the one in the photos.

The trial continues.

Background of the case

Prevost, Power, and Henry are charged in relation to incidents that allegedly happened between January 2012 to July 2014.

However, only three charges are now associated with their corruption case. The trio is collectively charged with ‘conspiracy to steal’ while Prevost and Power are jointly charged with ‘conspiracy to pervert the course of justice’.

Power stands as the only member among the trio charged with ‘acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of criminal conduct’.

Attorney Patrick Thompson represents Prevost, Queen’s Counsel Ian Wilkinson serves Henry, while attorney-at-law Israel Bruce represents Power.

On the Crown’s side, Queen’s Counsel John Black is the lead prosecutor in this case.

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