Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Tommy Lee's lawyer to file habeas corpus if entertainer not released

Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee

Attorney-at-law Ernest Smith has vowed to make an oral application and  file a habeas corpus before the St James Parish Court at  2 pm Tuesday if the police don't release his client, dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta.

A habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.

The 'Blessings' entertainer will be grilled in two separate question and answer sessions Tuesday, the first beginning at 11 am.

"I am on my way there right now,' Smith told Loop News.

"My client was moved from Barnett Street to Freeport yesterday and that is where they question you if you are to be released. However, they want two different sets of detectives from Montego Bay C.I.B to question him, one at 11 am and the other at 1 pm, so I am putting the habeas corpus on hold until after the last interview."

Smith said it would be unethical to file a habeas corpus when his client had already agreed to the question-and-answer session. 

"If he is not charged or released today, I will head to court. Today is the day, eggs or young ones," he said.  

Smith said detectives have been peppering his client with a barrage of vague questions and disparaging innuendo. 

"They have not fingered him in the death of anyone specifically, there are no conspiracy to murder allegations. They ask him things like: Are you the leader of the Sparta Rifle gang? Those are the vague questions he was asked. They are saying he has influence, but they (the police) should use that influence to solve crime instead of resorting to scapegoating my client," he said bluntly. 

Tommy Lee Sparta has been detained since last Tuesday, under the current state of public emergency (SOE) in St James. He can be held for 90 days without being charged.

---Claude Mills

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: