Counsel says measurement most important element in his case

Stabroek News
August 26, 2000

CANU officer and witness, Jeremy Mbozi, continued his testimony in the car chase cocaine bust trial yesterday by stating that the handing over of the bag that allegedly contained cocaine took place on the right side of the Pathfinder but he could not see between the vehicle and the fence.

Taking the stand for the third time since the beginning of the high-profile case, the CANU rank said that during his August 11 stake-out of the residence at Lot 3 McDoom, Public Road, East Bank Demerara, he was standing to the north of Andrew Pierre, another CANU officer.

He recalled that the front of the vehicle was parked close to the fence at the house. But although he could not estimate how far it was parked from it, in his opinion if the Pathfinder had driven forward, it would have hit the fence. Moreso, a northern turn would have created the same problem.

Mbozi acknowledged that he could not see the distance between the vehicle and the fence but swore he knew the handing over of the bag took place to the right side of the vehicle, exactly which part he does not know. He further denied giving CANU a statement which stated the exact location.

The prosecution's witness said that the front of the McDoom premises has a metal gate and a concrete fence which he could not see through. He further said that the Pathfinder drove off immediately after the transaction but refused to describe the action as being in a jiffy.

The officer said he observed the three defendants from an angle which also allowed him to see Morris Darr's features. Referring to a statement he gave after his stake-out, Mbozi said he never wrote in which direction Darr was standing during that period. He confessed not being able to estimate Albert Vaughn's and Trenton Allicock's distance from the fence but insisted that they faced west during the transaction.

Assuming an order was given to arrest the alleged traffickers, Mbozi said that such an opportunity existed. He acknowledged that he knew Darr and two other East Indian men were arrested earlier the very day that CANU made its bust, but said he did not know one of the men arrested was Robert Darr, Morris' brother.

The witness said that he was standing about 30 feet away from the public road but he could not say the actual width of that very road. Pressed for an estimate, he replied that it was approximately 15 to 20 feet wide. He confessed too that he could not estimate the distance from Access Road to Mandela Avenue.

Mbozi ended his cross-examination by stating that he had already passed the building at the Access Road junction and completed the turn when the Pathfinder disappeared from his view.

Vic Puran, defence lawyer for three men charged with trafficking in 4.7503 kilogrammes of cocaine following a car chase and gun shots in the city two Fridays ago, began his cross-examination yesterday by declaring that measurement is a most important element in his case.

Sporting a measuring tape, he calculated the width of the courtroom and kept dragging the witness back to the measurement as reference.

The case continues on Monday.

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