‘I lied about him being involved’
A man has confessed that his testimony that helped convict a Jamaican man of drugs offences in Bermuda was false.
Delroy Duncan is serving ten years in Bermuda for his part in an attempt to smuggle more than $50,000 worth of cocaine into Bermuda — but now he might be freed after witness Clarence James retracted his evidence.
Duncan, who was 36 when both he and James were convicted in 2011, has already appealed his conviction.
Now Clarence James, from Kits & Nevis, has filed an affidavit with the Court of Appeal in Bermuda and made a handwritten confession, according to The Gleaner newspaper in Jamaica.
The two, who both worked for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, were convicted in 2011.
James said: “It's been two years since I have living with this burden of knowing that I caused an innocent man's freedom to be taken away.
“It is this which makes me want to confess what I consider to be a sin.”
James, who is serving time on the island after being convicted in the same trial as Duncan, said he had decided to confess after becoming a Christian.
The Gleaner quoted the affidavit submitted by James as saying: “I was with the accused Duncan and we were tried together and convicted of importation of and conspiracy to import cocaine.
“We are both now serving sentences as a result of these convictions. I know that Duncan is trying to appeal his conviction. I also know that he is innocent and that's why I make this affidavit.
“I lied about him being involved in the importation of this cocaine that I had been caught with on August 8, 2001.”
James said in the affidavit that, when he was stopped and searched leaving the cruise ship both he and Duncan worked on with cocaine hidden in his sneakers, he “panicked.”
He added: “Then Duncan's name came to mind and I figured that, because I had used his phone a lot, I could say the sneakers belonged to him and that he asked me to deliver them.
“In reality, Duncan had nothing to do with what I was up to. I never told him who I was communicating with when I used his phone.”
James further claimed that a phone number written on a piece of paper in Duncan's cabin was written by Duncan at his request.
James added: “The other reason I told the police Duncan was involved was to avoid identifying the real person. I know that person to be very intimidating and well-connected in the drug world.
“There is no way I would have taken the risk of directing the police to him since I am sure it could have put my life and may family's life in danger.”
Duncan, a father-of-two, has maintained his innocence and has written to Governor George Fergusson and to the Jamaican Consul in Bermuda to draw attention to his case.