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Police accused of putting false information in witness statement

-in manslaughter trial of Alberto Rosa De La Rosa aka Pi Yoyo
Alberto Rosa De La Rosa aka Pi Yoyo, seen here leaving the High Court on October 6, 2015, is charged with unlawfully causing the death of Ricky Bautista Familia aka Macoticea on Friday November 16, 2012. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Eyebrows were raised in the High Court on Tuesday October 6, 2015 when a witness in the trial of Alberto Rosa De La Rosa aka Pi Yoyo, Mr David Anderson, made an allegation against law enforcement officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF). Mr Anderson alleged that information he did not give to them was put into his statement.

Anderson, a native of the Dominican Republic, was at the time giving testimony in the manslaughter trial.

The court heard on October 6, 2015 that a ‘joking around’ incident turned into a big fight where it is alleged that the accused inflicted a fatal stab wound to the chest of Riky Bautista Familia aka Macoticea on November 16, 2012 at a Bar in Sea Cows Bay, Tortola.

The allegation against the RVIPF arose as Senior Crown Counsel Ms Leslie Ann Faulker was grilling the witness about the knife he said he had seen the accused with. This had to do specifically with the length of the knife/blade.

When Ms Faulkner asked the witness if he could have recalled the approximate length of the knife he said no. She then sought leave from the court to refresh his memory by having him read what was written in a statement he had signed.

While the statement was in the hands of the witness he was again asked the question about the length of the knife and again he said he didn’t know. It was at that stage it was brought to his attention what was in his statement when he said he had told the police officers after they had given him the statement to sign that he didn’t tell them anything relating to the length of the knife.

The witness continued his testimony and again on another matter he indicated that he had not given certain information written in his statement.

After taking what appeared to have been an extensive time for the man to read the small section of the statement, the court took a decision to have the witness removed from the witness box and the jury was also asked to leave the court for a deliberation among members at the bar and the sitting Judge, Justice Vicki Ann Ellis.

The content of the discussion cannot be revealed to the public as it was done in the absence of the jury. However, when the witness and the jury were brought back into the court it was related to the two parties that a decision was taken to have the witness discontinue giving evidence on that day to allow the prosecution to take a course of action after which he is likely to return to continue his evidence on another occasion.

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