Three charges of assaulting police against Raziel Jeffers were dismissed on 6 October, after video tape evidence was lost by police.
The charges stemmed from matters allegedly transpiring while the defendant was in police custody. However, the matter was unable to proceed after the tape containing the evidence was recorded over.
Jeffers was not represented in the matter.
Attorney Peter Polack, who represents the defendant in separate matters, said, “It is suspicious that this evidence has disappeared. The bigger question is really one of efficiency. These are serious matters and when police send a matter to court and then mishandle important evidence, it is a waste of the court’s time and money.
“This inefficiency in police procedure and prosecution is a recurring decimal in legal matters in the Cayman Islands unfortunately, as seen in the recent acquittals in several high profile murder cases. It also calls into question the dependability of any CCTV that the Islands are spending millions of dollars on.”
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Public Relations Officer Janet Dougal said, “I have spoken to the relevant portfolio re this and it seems that the information we hold in relation to the current status of the case differs from yours. Can I suggest that you go back to the court to clarify the current position,” when asked about the incident.
However, Crown Prosecutor Kenneth Ferguson concurred with Mr. Polack’s version of events. He said he could not proceed with the case after the evidence that existed was apparently recorded over and thus the crux of the case was rendered inconsequential.
“I could not proceed knowing that this supposed evidence, which would have no doubt been a major point of contention, no longer existed.”
Jeffers is facing three separate charges of murder, Mr. Polack said.