This case is one for Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to deal with!
Not running behind Minister Robert Le Hunte.
Griffith needs to look into reports of police officers laying charges and never turning up in court to prosecute these charges.
Case in print!
A 21-year-old Venezuelan woman, who was charged with firearm and ammunition possession after her friend was killed in an alleged shootout with police in March, was freed on Tuesday.
Magistrate Rehanna Hosein dismissed the charges against Monika Jerez-Gonzalez during a hearing in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court.
Hosein’s decision was based on complaints from Jerez-Gonzalez’s lawyer,, Criston J Williams, over the failure of the police officer, who charged her, to attend hearings of the case.
The magistrate also considered that prosecutors had no witnesses ready to testify although the case was listed for trial on Tuesday. Prosecutors had also failed to disclose the evidence against Jerez-Gonzalez during previous hearings, as required under the Criminal Procedure Rules.
After the decision was handed down, Jerez-Gonzalez thanked Hosein and the Judiciary for expediting her case.
Jerez-Gonzalez, who maintained her innocence since being charged, also claimed that police fabricated the case against her.
According to police reports, around 11.30 pm on March 28, Jerez-Gonzalez and her 31-year-old friend Marco Antonio Gonzales, also from Venezuela, drove past a roadblock in Diego Martin and failed to follow instructions from police to stop.
Police claimed they were shot at when they eventually intercepted the vehicle along St Lucien Road. They returned fire and wounded both friends.
Gonzales died on the scene while Gonzalez, who was shot in her face, was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital for treatment.
A quantity of United States (US) currency was allegedly found on Gonzalez, while the loaded gun was allegedly found inside the car.
An autopsy performed Gonzales’ body showed that he died from six gunshot wounds—one in the back of the neck, four times in the mid-back region and one to the lower back.
The couple was visiting Trinidad to purchase food items to export his country. Gonzales’ body was flown to Venezuela for his funeral.