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‘Former don’ stated he rejected a bribe to not testify against Clans gang

 ‘Former don’ stated he rejected a bribe to not testify against Clans gang

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Self-proclaimed former don has claimed that at least two members of the St Catherine-based One Don faction of the Clansman gang offered him money to not testify against them at the now keenly watched gang trial in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The claim was made on Thursday by the prosecution’s second witness during cross-examination from attorney Alexander Shaw, who represents Stephanie Christie, alias ‘Mumma’, one of the 33 accused persons in the trial.

Shaw asked the witness whether he demanded money from Christie while she was in police custody.

In responding, the witness said he did not do so, but suggested that defendant Lamar Simpson, alias ‘Sick Head’, and another man called ‘Termite’, offered to pay him to testify in court that he did not know them.

Additionally, the witness said he was asked how much money he wanted to testify that he did not know them.

The witness said he refused the offers and opted to testify.

Shaw then asked the witness if he was not interested in injustice.

The witness reiterated that he did not take any money from the men who made the offer, and declared that his actions in that regard showed that he had an interest in injustice.

During further cross-examination, Shaw accused the witness of hating Christie and suggested that he even went as far as trying to get her killed.

But the witness objected to the suggestion.

While challenging the testimony of the witness on Christie’s role in the gang, Shaw said his client attended church on Sundays. He also indicated that the only meetings she attended were community meetings.

The prosecution had outlined that Christie was a pastor based in St Thomas.

But the witness refused to agree with Shaw’s suggestion that his client only attended church and community meetings.

The male witness, who said he was a former second in command of the One Don gang, suggested that Christie had given him money to purchase guns and was actually the “aggressor” in the gang.

Shaw inquired whether the witness was aware that Christie had grown up in Jones Avenue, Spanish Town, St Catherine, and was a childhood friend of Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, who is the alleged leader of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang.

The witness said he was unaware of that suggestion.

To further press his point that the witness hated his client, Shaw accused the witness of making unkind comments about Christie, branding her as an “obeah worker”, among other names.

The ex-gangster contended that he made no such remarks that Christie was an obeah worker.

He said the only thing he said about her was that she gave him and other gang members “guard rings”.

He said he refused that offer.

Earlier in the proceedings, the witness faced cross-examination from attorney Courtney Rowe, who represents accused Marco Miller, alias ‘Ezzy’.

The cross-examination began on Wednesday but was interrupted due to technical challenges with the video link through which the witness is testifying remotely.

Rowe resumed on Thursday by suggesting that the witness had failed to kill Miller and has now opted to implicate him (Miller) as a gangster. This, according to the attorney, was an act of revenge by the witness.

Additionally, Rowe claimed that the suggested revenge emanated from a dispute the witness had with Miller over a woman.

Rowe had suggested on Wednesday that there was a rift between his client and the witness, as the latter’s on-and-off girlfriend had been impregnated by Miller.

On Thursday, the witness again disagreed with the attorney, arguing that at no point was there a rift between him and Miller.

The former gangster argued that any attempt by him on the life of Miller was at the instruction of Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan.

Rowe continued his line of cross-examination by suggesting to the witness that he was also mentioning the name of another accused, Rushane Williams because he was Miller’s friend.

Rowe was cross-examining the witness on behalf of Williams at that point.

In response to the lawyer’s claims, the witness again disagreed, reiterating that his testimony against the gangsters was to ensure they are brought to justice.

Bryan, along with 31 other men and one woman, is being tried in the Home Circuit Court under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act), 2014, better known as the anti-gang legislation, on an indictment with 25 counts, for allegedly being part of a criminal organization, in a judge-alone trial.

Bryan and his co-accused have all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

The men and the woman have been charged with multiple offenses, including being part of a criminal organization, illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, facilitating conspiracy to murder, and facilitating arson.

The offenses were allegedly committed between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2019, in St Catherine.

The trial is to resume on Friday.

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