Malfunctioning AC units lead to more delay in ‘Clans’ trial | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

The hearing of no-case submissions by defence attorneys representing the alleged members of the One Don faction of the Clansman gang was delayed on Tuesday due to malfunctioning air-conditioning units at the Supreme Court.

The submissions have instead been put off to Thursday by the trial judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.

Before making his decision, a seemingly annoyed Sykes, when informed of the malfunctioning units, informed that the authorities had been alerted to the issues beforehand but they had failed to resolve them.

He said he would only give a day for the situation to be rectified.

A total of 33 people, including the reputed leader of the gang, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan, are on trial for a raft of criminal offences, including murder and arson.

The trial, which started in September last year, has been hit by multiple delays, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, technological challenges, and unavailability of witnesses, among other issues.

After several months of marshalling evidence against the alleged gangsters, the prosecution closed its case on May 10.

Prosecutors have largely relied on testimonies of two former gangsters-turned-state witnesses — a former self-styled don and a man claiming to be Bryan’s driver and the gang’s banker — as evidence that the 33 alleged individuals are members of a criminal organisation.

Additionally, prosecutors also relied on cell phone conversations of the alleged gangsters that were secretly recorded by the former don.

The trial went on a break for over a week to allow prosecutors adequate time to outline all the evidence against each defendant and make the disclosure to their attorney(s) by May 20.

The attorneys were also urged to use the break to carefully examine the “voluminous” evidence presented by the prosecution.

The 33 accused are being tried under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act), 2014, better known as the anti-gang legislation, on an indictment with 25 counts.

They have been charged with multiple offences, including being part of a criminal organisation, illegal possession of firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, facilitating conspiracy to murder, and facilitating arson.

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