Ali v the State

JurisdictionTrinidad & Tobago
JudgeWeekes, J.A.
Judgment Date29 July 2010
Neutral CitationTT 2010 CA 36
Docket NumberCrApp. No. 2 of 2010
CourtCourt of Appeal (Trinidad and Tobago)
Date29 July 2010

Court of Appeal

Weekes, J.A.; Yorke-Soon Hon, J.A.; Narine, J.A.

CrApp. No. 2 of 2010

The State

Mr. R. Rajcoomar appeared on behalf of the appellant.

Mr. W. Rajbansie appeared on behalf of the respondent.

Criminal law - Corrupt receiving — Appeal against conviction — Whether verdict was inconsistent with not guilty verdicts on two other counts on the indictment.

Weekes, J.A.

The appellant appealed his conviction for the offence of corrupt receiving. Initially four grounds of appeal were filed but three were withdrawn and the sole ground advanced was that the verdict against him is inconsistent with not guilty verdicts on two other counts on the original indictment. Those charges were corrupt solicitation and corrupt receiving.


The brief facts relied on by prosecution were that on 29th December 2005, the appellant, a police officer, solicited from the virtual complainant a “bribe” to forbear in the prosecution of a criminal case. The two struck an agreement and the sum of four thousand, five hundred dollars ($4,500) was paid by the virtual complainant to the appellant on that very day as a partial payment. That money was actually handed over to the appellant by the virtual complainant's son on the virtual complainant's instructions. While he was able to give evidence of surrounding circumstances, the son was not a witness to the actual solicitation. The events of the 29th December 2005 were the subject of the two counts (1) corrupt solicitation and (2) corrupt receiving on which the appellant was found not guilty. The main evidence against the appellant on those counts was from the virtual complainant.


An arrangement was made for the payment of the balance of one thousand, five hundred dollars ($1,500). On 4th January 2006, the virtual complainant made contact with the appellant and went to the Cunupia Police Station, where the appellant worked and handed over to him the balance in an envelope. Police officers monitored the transaction from a remote location as part of a sting operation and eventually approached the appellant and searched him. They found the envelope with market bills in his pants pocket.


The happenings of 4th January 2006 were the subject of a third court and it was on this that the appellant was found guilty. The appellant's defence in respect of all three counts was a complete denial of prosecution case.


Counsel for the appellant submitted that since the jury by its verdict on counts 1 and 2 had either rejected or was unsure of the virtual complainant's evidence, then his evidence could not even with corroboration be relied upon to prove count 3. He further submitted that the subject of all 3 counts were part of a single transaction, the corrupt solicitation and partial payment, i.e., corrupt receiving on one date, and a second corrupt receiving to pay the balance one week later. One could not therefore be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the latter transaction unless one was convinced to the same standard of the earlier transactions. Anything else would be illogical.


Mr. Rajbansie's response was that the jury's failure to convict on counts 1 and 2 was quite possibly because there was no corroboration of the virtual complainant's evidence and the judge had given an appropriate direction. In count 3, the evidence of the sting operation provided corroboration. Hence this was a plausible way of explaining how the jury might reasonably have reached the differing verdicts.


The judge directed the jury on the burden of proof. He also told them that if on the evidence they were sure of the appellant's guilt, they must convict. He further instructed them to give separate consideration to each count and told them that they were required to bring in a verdict on each of the counts charged.


In respect of corroboration,...

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