KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – U.S. official in Bridgetown in 2008 told Washington that the abrupt end to the Glenn Jackson murder trial would “no doubt leave most Vincentians further disenchanted with the country’s police force and criminal system,” according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
Francis Williams, then 25, was on Feb. 28, 2008 acquitted of the murder of Jackson, Press Secretary and Personal Aide to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
Jackson, 44, was found dead in the back seat of his vehicle a short distance from his Cane Garden home on March 6, 2006. He was naked and died of a single shot to the chest.
U.S. Embassy officials in Barbados said that the acquittal “also highlights the police force’s perceived lack of discipline”.
“Considering the victim’s crucial role in St. Vincent politics and the ruling [Unity Labour Party’s] success, questions will linger as to the motives behind the killing,” the leaked cable said.
High Court Judge Frederick Bruce-Lyle ruled that the prosecution could not include as evidence an oral confession received from Williams during the course of the investigation.
Bruce-Lyle also ruled that the manner in which the alleged confession was obtained breached several chapters of the Police Act.
He noted that the police officers in the investigation failed to properly record the confession, and said they had conducted an “awful investigation.”
Scotland Yard detectives assisted police in Kingstown with investigation of the murder.
Jackson, a former journalist, was instrumental in bringing Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party to office in March 2001 and in its winning the general elections of December 2005.
Director of Public Prosecutions Collin Williams and Trinidadian lawyer Gilbert Peterson argued the prosecution’s case while Kay Bacchus-Browne and Grant Connell appeared for the defence.