Soldier cleared by court-martial
An army lance corporal has been cleared of a series of charges against him which alleged he harassed a subordinate and also drove in a manner unbecoming a soldier.
Lance Cpl Keston Greene has been slapped with nine charges stemming from two alleged incidents which took place in 2019 at Camp Ogden, Long Circular Road, St James.
At a recent court martial, verdicts of not guilty were returned after Judge Advocate Ian Roach upheld a no-case submission put forward by Greene’s lawyer, Arden Williams.
In his no-case submission, Williams, who was assisted by attorney Mariah Puckerin, argued that the prosecution’s evidence against his client was patently unreliable because cross-examination of the three witnesses resulted in a number of obvious inconsistencies and contradictions.
In his decision, Roach found that the prosecution in the Greene case failed to establish a prima facie case on the nine charges against him.
“My task is not to determine whether or not the prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt or to determine innocence or guilt, but is limited to assessing whether or not the evidence has established a prima facie case for the defense to respond,” he said in his decision.
As he reviewed the evidence presented in support of the first six charges, the judge advocate described it as “inherently weak, inconsistent and grossly discredited”.
Of the remaining three charges, Roach noted that they lacked detail and were too vague to ask Greene to respond to.
After ordering members of the board – which serves as a jury in a military court martial – to return the not-guilty verdicts, Roach told Greene that what was determined was not whether he was guilty or innocent. , but if there was enough evidence to call for him to answer the charges.
He described it as a “technicity of law”.
It was suggested to Greene that he think about why he was in court and that he was a soldier in the military.
Greene was also advised by the foreman of the military jury to always be mindful of his responsibilities to manage and maintain discipline, as any hesitation in these, to perform his role as disciplinary, may compromise his professional attitude.
“So the focus should be on technical, tactical and administrative skill; do your duties diligently in order to serve your subordinates while satisfying the commanders’ intent,” he was advised.
At the time of the alleged offences, Greene was a sentry on guard duty from the barracks to camp.