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Top cop, on trial for rape, buys more time

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Facing a criminal charge of rape, embattled Police Chief Henry Greene has secured a temporary court order barring junior officers from charging him as he challenges the recommendation from the state prosecutor’s office to indict him on the felony charge, saying the evidence in the complaint is too weak to secure a conviction.

Greene, through a battery of lawyers on Tuesday, Feb. 10, was able to persuade Chief Justice Ian Chang to hold off the charge until Feb. 20, when the court hears the motion for a second time.

Government last month asked Greene, 57, to step aside while it investigates a complaint from a 34-year-old married mother of two that he took her to a city hotel and raped her after she had approached him for help in a separate police matter.

If he is indeed charged, he would be the first commissioner and highest ranking member of the disciplined services to be hauled before the courts on a charge of such a nature. It will also signal his certain dismissal from a force he has served since the 1970s.

Greene made it clear in his arguments presented to the court on Tuesday that the sex was consensual and followed social time together before when the two had “beverages” at senior police officers club and later went to the motel consensually.

His lawyers want the court to rule that the chief state prosecutor should “quash her advice” to local police that he should be charged with the offence saying that “the applicant ought not to be prosecuted for the offence as the realistic prospect of conviction’ was not met.”

The scandal has stunned the Caribbean trade bloc nation and the case has attracted widespread coverage on a daily basis.

In 2006 on the day he became chief, the US government revoked his visa, suggesting that he had benefited directly from the drug trade, charges he has denied.

Several senior current and former officers with whom Greene served over the decades, including predecessor and legislator Winston Felix, recall several less than consensual sexual encounters Greene has had with junior female ranks, many of whom have remained quiet because of the shame and embarrassment.

It is unclear whether any of them will step forward to give evidence on behalf of the woman if he is charged. Lawyers say the effort to prevent the charge being instituted is rather novel and look forward to the final court ruling.

Posted 12:00 am, February 12, 2012
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