Drugs trial told defendant’s evidence was a ‘pack of lies’
The evidence of a man charged with smuggling more than $470,000 worth of drugs into Bermuda was “a pack of lies” that “simply doesn’t make sense”, a prosecutor told the Supreme Court yesterday.
Alan Richards, who appeared for the Crown, made the claim in his closing arguments in the trial of Zadun Robinson.
Mr Robinson, 22, was arrested at the airport in August 2018 with another man, Kanhai Fray, after he returned from a trip to Canada.
Customs officials seized three suitcases from Mr Robinson and discovered around 5lbs of cannabis and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol – the active component of cannabis – in 16 packages hidden behind plastic linings in the cases.
A similar amount of drugs was found in Mr Fray’s luggage.
Both men were arrested and later bailed on condition that they reported to Hamilton police station three times a week.
Mr Robinson complied with the order, Mr Fray is believed to have skipped the island later in 2018 and has yet to be traced.
Mr Richards admitted that Mr Robinson may not have been the ringleader of the conspiracy and could have fallen “under the evil influence of others”.
He added that the jury may have felt it was unfair that his co-accused had evaded justice.
Mr Richards added Mr Robinson was young and of previous good character – he was 19 at the time of his arrest and worked as a kitchen porter at the Cambridge Beaches resort.
But he appealed to the jury not to let sympathy influence their verdict.
Mr Richards said: “There is no room for sympathy in this courtroom.
“Sympathy will not help you to deliver a true verdict if the Crown has delivered its case. You are objective and independent.”
Mr Richards said that Mr Robinson, who claimed to have taken the trip to go shopping, had “over-declared” items on his Customs form.
He added: “What makes sense is to make an effort to show that you have paid a substantial amount of duty if you are trying to slip under the radar and demonstrate that you are honest – to present a front of being trustworthy.”
Mr Richards said that Mr Robinson’s version of how he came to borrow suitcases from his host in Canada – a friend of Mr Fray’s – also defied logic.
He concluded that Mr Robinson was involved in the conspiracy or, at the very least, had good cause to suspect that his suitcases contained illicit substances.
Marc Daniels, for the defence, said that there were four threads to the prosecution case – text messages between Mr Fray and an unknown man, memorial badges for a funeral that Mr Fray claimed he had attended while in Canada, dark clothing that Mr Robinson allegedly wore on the return journey, and the drugs found in his suitcase.
But Mr Daniels claimed that none of the four strands were proof that Mr Robinson knew that he was carrying drugs.
He said that text messages found on Mr Fray’s telephone to a third party indicated that he was involved in the plot.
But he said that Mr Robinson was not mentioned in the messages and there was no evidence to suggest he had even seen them.
Mr Daniels reminded the jury that Mr Robinson had been given the funeral badge by Mr Fray.
He said: “This young boy didn’t pay attention to what was given to him, or process it, or care.”
He pointed out that a forensic examination of the packages for DNA failed to reveal any link to Mr Robinson.
He said: “You don’t have any evidence to feel sure that he touched it in some kind of way.
“The reality of the situation is, if you can’t see, or smell, or access the drugs, how do you know they’re there?
“You would only know if someone told you, and there is no evidence of that.
“What are you sure about? Where does your prejudice take you?”
Mr Daniels also highlighted Mr Robinson’s youth and naivety and that he was a hard worker with no known associations with drug dealers or gangs.
He told the jury: “You are trying to put together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle and you have only been given 200 pieces.
“When you look at the pieces of the puzzle, you can’t possibly be sure that he had knowledge of the conspiracy or even suspected that he had drugs.
“This kid was innocent and was played.”
Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe is expected to conclude his summation and direction to the jury on Monday.
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