By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
POLICEMAN Dwight Smith has to wait to find out which court will be hearing his indecent assault case after a police prosecutor said he and Smith were related.
During what was supposed to be a fixture hearing yesterday, Smith, who is seeking to be re-elected as Chairman of the Police Staff Association, pleaded not guilty to indecently assaulting a woman on December 27, 2013.
He elected to be tried in the magistrates’ court.
Following the arraignment in Chief Magistrate Joyanne Ferguson-Pratt’s court, number nine, prosecutor Inspector Clifford Daxon requested “the matter be sent to another court.”
He said: “I know you are minded to hear the matter but the reason being is that the defendant and I are family.”
The chief magistrate said the case would be transferred to court number eight.
However, defending attorney Devard Francis suggested to the court that a similar request may occur due to his client’s connection with that court’s prosecutor as well.
The chief magistrate said she would have to inquire if this were the case with the other courts.
She also suggested that during her tenure at the Attorney General’s Office, matters involving officers were usually handled by that office.
She said she was not sure if it was still the case but if it was, the officer would have to ensure the prosecutor was not a former police officer.
“I’m going to adjourn this matter for a status hearing. When he (Smith) returns to court, I will inform him if there are any possible conflicts of interest. Mr Smith is a well known police officer. I don’t want to go down the list and find that the court cannot hear the matter because of that,” the magistrate said.
The hearing was adjourned until February 17.