ROBOCOP FREED OF MURDER
By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Saturday, November 12 2011
The unreliability of a state witness led to the collapse of the murder case against Selwyn “Robocop” Alexis who walked out the Chaguanas Magistrates’ Court a free man yesterday, nine weeks after he was charged for murder.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard confirmed to Newsday the evidence of the state witness could not be used, and added an investigation on matters relating to the collapse of the murder case has begun.
“The witness’ credibility and reliability came into question and as such, he could no longer be a witness. The file regarding this matter, has been sent to the Anti-Corruption Bureau.”
Senior Superintendent Koon Koon, who heads the Bureau, is investigating the matter.
When the case came up for hearing, State attorney George Busby told Magistrate Gillian Scotland that based on information received “there was no reasonable prospect that Mr Alexis can be prosecuted in this matter.”
Upon hearing this, Alexis, of Enterprise, Chaguanas, smiled and Scotland told him he was free to leave. Dressed in a black jeans, black jersey and holding a plastic bag, Alexis climbed into a panel van and left.
Alexis, who is a contractor, was on September 5, charged with the murder of Vincent Emmanuel Simmons, who was shot and killed on October 7, 2008, at Niblette Street, Enterprise in Chaguanas.
Alexis was arrested on August 30 while at the luxury apartment One Woodbrook Place, Port-of-Spain, when the city was under the 9 pm to 5 am curfew in the first week of the state of emergency. A week later he appeared in the Chaguanas Magistrates’ Court charged with the murder of Simmons. Speaking on Alexis’ behalf following the court hearing yesterday, his attorney Joseph Honore said there was no doubt in his mind his client was not guilty of the charge. He praised the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard for displaying independence.
Honore said, “From day one, I was confident he was going to get off. I hope this matter does not end here. We want a full investigation so that the public would know the truth in this matter. In particular, the manner in which police investigators commenced their investigations.”
Honore, a former senior police officer, said he had launched his own investigation into the matter, and questioned the procedure for taking statements in the case.
“This is a case which demonstrates that urgent reform is needed with regards to upgrading the investigative techniques (used by homicide officers),” Honore said.
Honore, while opting not to say much more on the issue, said that Alexis may be a State witness in the future.
In the past, Alexis was charged with kidnapping, extortion and perverting the course of justice, but these cases were all dismissed in the Magistrates’ Court.