Klansman Trial: Cross-Examination of Crown’s Witness Begins

After days of delay due to COVID-19 cases, the Klansman Gang trial resumed on Tuesday, October 25 in the home circuit court in Downtown Kingston. Alleged gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan along with his 32 co-accused are being tried on a 25-count indictment under the anti-gang legislation and the firearms act.

The prosecution wrapped up its examination of one of its main witnesses and the defense started its cross-examination. All 33 defendants were present in court on Monday as the high-profile trial reconvened. Defense Attorney Lloyd Mcfarlane, representing the alleged gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan strongly suggest to the witness that he has been lying to the court. Using the police statement given by the witness in January 2020 as a guide, McFarlane pointed to several incidents where the witness gave inconsistent evidence in court. He asserts that “all the stories of killings ordered by Byran are not true” however, the witness contests that he is telling the whole truth.

The Defense Attorney pressed further pointing to an instance where the witness told the police in his statement that Bryan received a call from another gang member 30 minutes after a murder was committed. However, the witness during the course of his testimony told the court he received the call from the gang member 5 minutes after the murder and Bryan was unable to hear the conversation. Mcfarlane questioned the witness on this matter, to which the witness says “it’s time sir, everybody makes mistakes with time’. Mcfarlane’s response to this was “you’re not remembering too well” The witness replied, “I am remembering perfectly fine”. The witness made it clear that he was nervous while giving the statement to the police.

Another piece of evidence was thrown out for clarification, but the witness seemingly could not recall and said he would have to look at the police statement. The witness’ statement was displayed for him to review. The defense again asserted that the accounts given by the witness are false and that he is a liar. The witness, who appeared seemingly irritated at this time replied “I don’t tell lies, my statement has not changed, I was nervous while talking to the police, so I didn’t go into all the details”…

The crown’s witness was charged with being part of a criminal organization in June 2019, but those charges were subsequently dropped as the witness decided to assist the police, to in his words “do the right thing by helping Jamaica to get these gangsters off the streets”

The defense attorney is of the view that the witness only decided to testify against the gang members to save his own self.

Minutes to four the witness complained of feeling cramps and asked for a break for the remainder of the day. Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, noting that this is not the first time the witness is interrupting the proceedings with the same claim, asked for a comprehensive medical report on Tuesday to determine if it will be a recurring issue.

The court was adjourned and will continue on Tuesday.