‘Alkaline’ released without charge

POPULAR dancehall deejay “Alkaline” was yesterday released from police custody following a judge’s order that he be charged or released by 6:00 pm after spending four days behind bars.

The artiste, who had been in custody since last Thursday, was released about 3:15 pm.

Senior Parish Judge Andrea Pettigrew-Collins had made the order yesterday morning in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court following a

habeas corpus application by Alkaline’s attorney, Peter Champagnie.

The deejay had surrendered to the police who wanted him for questioning in relation to the murder of Rohan Morris in Maverley on January 13.

Champagnie, during his application, argued that his client had been in custody for four days without being charged, and was neither advised by the police of any pending charge.

Superintendent Mevral Smith, who was a part of the investigating team, objected to Alkaline’s release, stating that the investigation was still being carried out. He also told the court that the deejay was asked 100 questions, but only responded by saying, “I am innocent of these charges.”

But the judge quickly told him that entertainer was not obligated to answer any of the questions.

“You either have the evidence to charge him or you don’t,” Judge Pettigrew-Collins said.

The judge then raised concerns about the frequent practice by police officers arresting suspects before conducting a proper investigation.

“With the greatest of respect, police too often put the horse before the cart.

“You can’t take somebody in custody and then try to find evidence against them. That makes no sense, and it has never made sense to me, and it not likely to do in this lifetime,” the judge said.

The officer, in a seemingly last-minute effort to keep the entertainer in custody, told Judge Pettigrew-Collins that the police had visited the address that the artiste had given and was not convinced that that was his rightful home address, as there was nothing to indicate that he lived there.

But Champagnie quickly assured the judge that the police would have no difficulty in finding his client, as he was a well-known entertainer.

The judge, after confirming with the police that Alkaline is a well-known artiste, said “I would think that schoolchildren would be able to find him if they really needed to.”

The deejay is known for smash hits like Formula, Block and Delete, Afterall, and Extra Lesson.

 

BY TANESHA MUNDLE Observer staff reporter