Powell case postponed as attorney is a no show!

Update on Patrick Powell court case

Breaking news!

Powell’s attorney was a no show at court this morning forcing the X6 case to be postponed. wow, would love to know more. Meanwhile  Powell has been charged with murder, shooting with intent, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and failure to produce a firearm for inspection. See details in the Go-Jamaica article below:

Powell appears before Supreme Court, case postponed

The accused, Patrick Powell, as he is escorted from the courthouse in Half Way Tree on July 21. He was on his way to the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston. (Photo/Norman Grindley).

The accused, Patrick Powell, as he is escorted from the courthouse in Half Way Tree on July 21. He was on his way to the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston. (Photo/Norman Grindley).

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Patrick Powell, the accused in the Khajeel Mais murder case, appeared before the Home Circuit Court a short while ago and was remanded in custody until Monday.

The case was postponed due to the absence of the Powell’s lawyer, Patrick Atkinson.

A preliminary hearing was avoided this morning when the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions entered a voluntary bill of indictment, at the gun court, allowing the case to be moved downtown to the Supreme Court.

Powell, 50, also appeared before the return court, where the case of failing to hand over his firearm for inspection was mentioned. That case has also been rescheduled for September 26.

Major Investigations Taskforce detectives charged Powell yesterday with murder, shooting with intent, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and failure to produce a firearm for inspection.

Powell was brought into the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court this morning under heavy police escort, as he was transported in a six vehicle motorcade.

He was taken to the courthouse in an unmarked police vehicle.

Attorney-at-law, Bert Samuels, watched this morning’s proceedings on behalf of the Mais family.

Information famine on Patrick Powell–

Information famine on Patrick Powell, the suspected X6 killer

Patrick Powell remains a masked mystery figure...

See just as i thought! If Jamaican newspapers were serious they would have had the story all ready and waiting to roll out the moment the police charged Patrick Powell with murder. Everything you ever wanted to know about the mystery suspect; Who exactly is Patrick Powell? What makes him tick? They would tell us how he made his m/billions; how many cars he has; how many children; details of the crime his son is charged with; photos of his house, wife and workplace. Tell us why on earth this man is so powerful! And more!

Serious newspapers/media entities have obituaries on political leaders, business moguls, socialites, the glitterati–ready and waiting to trot out in case one of them suddenly kicks the bucket. They do that for major news stories such as that of the X6 killer too but not in Jamaica it seems–there is woefully little in the papers today about Patrick Powell and who he really is. I mean not even the Star has anything!

Apparently Powell, who has connections to the entertainment industry in Jamaica is also known as Nigga Charlie…

Perhaps we’ll find a Patrick Powell info feast in the Sunday papers? Let’s hope so. I’m certainly looking forward to my copy of the Herald…

Patrick Powell finally charged!

Patrick Powell finally charged with murder and a battery of other charges…

The man charged with Khajeel Mais's murder, Patrick Powell, beside his precious X6

Finally! Patrick Powell, first mentioned by the Sunday Herald, as the man who owned the X6 involved in Khajeel Mais’s killing, has been charged by the police. Now could the mainstream media provide us with the full 100? This case will go down in history as the one that completely exposed the fecklessness of Jamaican media. Fine watchdogs they are! Too fraid to bark! and toothless on top of it!

The Herald may barely be hobbling along but it has all its teeth and doesn’t hesitate to use them, which is why it’s forced to hobble…

News of the Third World: Please fill-in-the-blanks…

Jamaican media’s vow of silence is ruminated upon…and speculated about.

Front page of Murdoch-owned Times a couple of days ago

Kudos to James Harding, editor of The Times (UK) for his newspaper’s coverage of the Murdoch empire’s embarrassing collapse. Despite the fact that his paper is owned by the one and only Rupert Murdoch Harding has treated the story as if it were a regular news item and given it front page coverage as any self-respecting newspaper should.

What do you want to bet that this would never happen with our two leading papers were the news stories about the respective business empires that own and fund them? Hell these are media entities that refrain from naming names even when you’re the prime suspect in a murder case–unless of course you happen to live below Crossroads in which case they splash your name around with abandon. In fact in the instant case of the seismic events shaking up the Murdoch-owned media subsidiaries the story would probably go like this if they involved a local magnate:

Day of atonement as media chiefs quit

July 16 2011 12:01AM

The publisher of one of the island’s leading dailies, Mr. Nobody, issued a series of abject apologies and heralded sweeping changes to his newspaper business yesterday as he sought to repair the damage of the phone-hacking scandal. The media mogul and chief executive parted company with two longstanding allies in a clearout of senior executives. Hours after accepting the resignation of Editor-in-chief, Ms Anonymous, at Newspaper X, the leading businessman also bade farewell to #Itwasn’tme, the chief executive of ZZZ, publisher of The ABC. Whereas the resignation of Ms Anon as chief executive of Newspaper X appeared inevitable, the departure of #Itwasn’tme, who has served the media giant on both sides of the Caribbean for more than 50 years, was a surprise. Please stay tuned for further updates on these cataclysmic events…

A friend who shall–in keeping with the craze for anonymity–remain nameless, said he thought that the real news was to be gleaned from the social columns of the leading papers, which we also won’t name, in case they sue us. The fact is that there’s absolutely no danger of a News of the World type scandal happening here because far from hacking into people’s phones to get the full story our media routinely averts its gaze from the crucial stories affecting us plying us instead with a choice selection of press releases from the corporate world.

Fortis Pavilion at Khajeel Mais' Funeral: courtesy Edgar Lewis

Up to now we don’t have a comprehensive printed account of what is going on in the case of the X6 killer, though the alleged owner/driver of the car, Patrick Powell, has been arrested. We also heard on radio that Mr. Powell has refused, on the instructions of his attorney, Patrick Atkinson, to speak or explain anything. He has also apparently refused to turn over his firearm for examination. The Gleaner also issued a stern editorial advising the Police Commissioner to release details of the raid of the home of a senior police officer in connection with the same killing. One doesn’t get the impression that the police not naming the leading suspect or the policeman whose house was raided would have kept the British media from unearthing those names and publishing them along with more detail than you could possibly want.

On the contrary island journalism ensures that literally little or nothing is known about this senior cop and what his connection to the case might be nor is any real information available from the newspapers of record about the alleged killer of the young schoolboy. Powell is to face an ID parade next week approximately 3 weeks since the killing of Khajeel Mais, who was buried today. What are the chances that anyone will be able to remember well enough to accurately identify Powell as the shooter in question? Meanwhile news broke yesterday that the Supreme Court of Jamaica had overturned the amendment to the bail act of July 2, 2010, ruling that it was/is unconstitutional. Speculation is rife as to the effects this might have on the X6 case.

Meanwhile I drove on Barbican Road today and noticed that in the area of Grants Pen Ave the road has been completely resurfaced, a sure sign that elections are looming. As a Facebook friend (who shall remain faceless) announced the other day:

Notice: The General Elections are upon us, with it comes several job opportunities – “person to call talk shows”, “person to write letters to editors”, “persons to peacefully block roads” & several others. Interested persons can send CV to my Inbox with a $500 processing fee. Thanks.

I leave you with a mordant joke which i picked up from an article in Outlook magazine, India:

Syria’s Hafez Assad was a brutal despot who ruled the country with an iron fist and a 65,000-strong secret police force for 20 years. When he died, his son Bashar took over and is today fighting a growing insurgency. A joke that did the rounds in Hafez Assad’s time seems pertinent. One of his aides informed him, “Mr President, you won the election with a 99.7 percent majority. That means only three-tenths of 1 per cent of the people did not vote for you. What more could you ask for?”
Assad’s reply: “Their names.”

You would think we lived in Syria, judging by the vow of silence that seems to prevail in the media here. SMH, it seems the ‘informer fi dead’ culture has strangled journalism in Jamaica for good. There is little or no freedom of information in this island.

The only Jamaican paper with balls–The Sunday Herald

Answers some questions about the owner of the BMW X6 whose driver killed a 17 yr old Jamaican and why his identity is being protected by the media, police, church and government.

November 6, 2011

UPDATE! For readers searching for information about the Sunday Herald you can tune in to my interview with the chairman of the board Rev Garnett Roper  about what’s happening with the Sunday Herald at 9 am Jamaican time on Newstalk 93FM, it streams live on the internet at http://newstalk.com.jm/LiveStream.htm. Back to my July 10 post below….

I’ve been very irregular with updating this blog. Largely this is because in February this year I started doing two weekly radio programmes, Double Standards and The Silo, on Newstalk 93. Coupled with my full time job at the University of the West Indies this leaves me with very little spare time. Something had to give and alas, its been Active Voice…

Double Standards, which I co-host with Yvette Rowe, a BBC-trained radio and TV broadcaster attempts to give listeners a more in-depth, analytical sense of issues in the news, both locally and globally. We also look at media coverage in general, pinpointing where we think it’s biased or employing a double standard, or just plain inadequate, leaving the public ill-informed, in the dark or providing it with little more than a succession of press releases. In the last week or two there’ve been so many instances of this that we can barely keep up.

For instance the cover page headline in today’s Observer, one of the two main daily newpapers in Jamaica, blares ‘Who is the X6 Killer?’ The question relates to the leading article in the paper, illustrated by the image below, about a killing that has shocked the country.

About two weeks ago Khajeel Mais, a 17-year old schoolboy travelling in a taxi, was shot dead by the driver of a BMW X6 which the taxi had accidentally grazed. In an apparent act of road rage the BMW driver leapt out of his vehicle and proceeded to fire at the taxi, which turned and tried to flee. One of the bullets entered the head of the unfortunate 17-year old killing him immediately.

Since then it has emerged that the owner of the luxury car is a highly connected businessman with ties to top policemen as well as politicians. No doubt this is why its driver felt empowered enough to attack the taxi in the brazen way that he did. No doubt this is why the major media houses here are scared to name either owner or driver. We don’t even know if they were one and the same or different.

Twitter was abuzz with the news and jokes about the X6, like this tweet: @afflictedyard: For Sale: BMW X6 #migratingmustsell #minordamage

All week long rumours have been flying about the murderous X6 driver to the effect that the man had left the country within hours of the shooting and that a senior cop with connections to the driver had been caught concealing information pertinent to the case. Although the policeman’s name has been mentioned at least once in a television news broadcast I saw, the alleged shooter’s identity, as well as the name of the owner of the car, have carefully been kept from the public in much the same way that the name of a Chinese restaurant in Mandeville, whose fried rice sickened at least 14 patrons, sending some to hospital, has been punctiliously withheld from the public.

What’s the deal here?

According to the Observer:

While the name of the alleged shooter cannot be published because he has not been charged with a crime, there are some things the Sunday Observer can report about him, based on interviews with persons who have intimate knowledge of him.

Clearly the newspaper IS in a position to divulge the name of the suspect, or the ‘person of interest’ to use a technical term, judging by the wealth of detail it goes on to provide about him. He’s “of dark complexion”, is a Canadian citizen and “has deep ties with both major political parties, though he is said to have greater loyalty to the Opposition People’s National Party”.

The murder suspect — who is a real estate developer and who is said to have enormous wealth — is also linked to other major local figures from the criminal underworld, while maintaining “very deep” connections with senior members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The suspect, who over the years has kept a low profile, is said to have real estate developments in several posh St Andrew communities, including Liguanea and Norbrook.

Additionally, he’s said to have developments along Red Hills Road and owns several other multi-million-dollar properties in the Constant Spring area of St Andrew, among others.

He’s also the owner of a private jet.

The claim that the paper can’t publish the name of the suspect because “he has not been charged with a crime” is a crock of shit; this has never kept them from trumpeting the names of other less influential ‘suspects’ who have yet to be charged with a crime. In the very same paper there is another story: Security guard sought in mother-daughter murder:

A security guard is being sought by the Savanna-la-Mar police following the killing of two women and the injury of their neighbour during a dispute in Farm District, Westmoreland yesterday.

The accused has been identified as 25-year-old Roche Tomlinson.

The guard who is on the run, is yet to be charged with the murder, yet the paper boldly tells us his name! (omg! news has just broken that the security guard was killed and dismembered, then set ablaze by vigilantes, wonder if this has anything to do with his name being called?) Similarly some months ago Jamaican media, including the Observer had no qualms about bandying about the names of Vybz Kartel and Mavado when the two were taken in by the police for questioning as ‘persons of interest’ in crimes we are yet to be informed about. Mavado even complained of the resulting damage to his reputation but its not clear what compensation if any he has recieved. The same goes for Kartel who was kept in the lockup for two weeks prompting him to appear on stage at last year’s Reggae Sumfest in handcuffs and prison uniform.

Photo of Kartel: Marcia Forbes
spraggabenz

And only a couple of months ago we heard all over the media that DJ Spragga Benz was wanted for questioning by the police in connection with a triple murder. Apparently nothing came of it because he’s out and about. Has he been compensated for damage to his reputation?  The answer is a resounding NO. Talk about double standards!

Well, guess what? The Sunday Herald names the owner of the car, calmly and without any fanfare, in a short news item titled “Police awaiting forensic tests on BMW X6”. It’s Patrick Powell. Of course we don’t know whether this was in fact the car that was involved in the accident, nor do we know, even if it was the car,  that the owner was driving it at the time of the shooting.

But why is it only the Herald that had the balls to come out and name the owner of the car which is being investigated by the police? That’s what i want to know. More power to them! Again from Twitter: RT @JustSherman: Jamaica Observer and Gleaner couldn’t cross it, but the Jamaica Herald can swim #onlyrealjamaicannewpaper