A case against Earl ‘Seko’ Grant, who was facing charges in relation to the alleged firebombing of the home of former magistrate, GON Emanuel in 2010, has been dismissed.
Grant was facing a charge of conspiracy to commit arson in connection with the incident.
Following the fire, he was implicated in a confession by Denny Shillingford who alleged that he set the fire on Grant’s orders.
On Wednesday the prosecution told the court that no further evidence will be presented in the matter.
“Your Honour, the prosecution offers no further evidence in this matter,” said State Attorney attached to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sherma Dalrymple.
She was the one in control of the case involving Grant and Shillingford.
A number of witnesses took to the stand, among them, the investigating officer and Shillingford.
In his testimony, Shillingford, who is 33 years, told the court that on the day in question, December 24, one day before the fire, he was partying at “Jam Down” and never left.
“I was in the company of lots of people (names called). I never left Jam Down,” he said. “I misled the police because I was charged in 2008 with the murder of Vincentian national Cecil Boatswain. I spent 19 months in jail, was release(d) in August 2009 and said I have to get my revenge because the police do me wrong, so I mislead them.”
After hearing from State Attorney Dalrymple, Magistrate Bernard Pacquette told Grant, “The prosecution has failed to prove a prima facie case against you. The case is dismissed and your passport will be returned.”
Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom Grant said, “I am so happy I don’t even know what to say.”
He maintained that since his arrest in 2013 he has been proclaiming his innocence and is not surprised at the outcome.
“When God knows that you did not do anything, he gets you out,” Grant stated. “I want to thank my lawyers Gilbert Peterson SC and Heather Felix Evans for doing a good job.”
He said that he will be meeting with his lawyer to assess the entire situation noting, “believe me, it has a round two.”
He said he has learnt “a serious lesson” that he will “never forget.”
Trinidadian lawyer, Gilbert Peterson SC, who led the case for Grant, along with Heather Felix Evans, explained that “the investigations should have prevented the charges from being laid.”
“From cross examining the investigator, he revealed that he had pursued several lines of investigations during the course of his investigations and as he did, he kept having doubts about the integrity of the case and the veracity of the main witness and so,” he said. “That should have put the decision maker on alert and the charge should not have been brought. That was revealed in court and so the case was ill conceived.”
Grant said the option for civil action is open, noting that while the investigator did his job, those responsible for reviewing the files (the decision makers) should pay close attention to the material unearthed.
“If they had stepped back and assessed the evidence dispassionately and independently, I don’t think this charge would have been brought,” he stated.