The defendant in this case filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him. An issue was raised on whether the testimony presented during the trial came from an accomplice.
According to the defendant’s motion, if the testimony was based on the statements of his accomplice, the testimony itself should not be admissible in court for lack of support. The defendant further stated in his motion that if the testimony of the accomplice is not corroborated or supported by the statement of another witness, the evidence against him is not enough to prove anything.
The defendant was charged with bribery for attempting to pay off a police office and negotiated an agreement to gain access to the names of other police officers who took photos of the defendant’s store for purposes of surveillance. The defendant also paid off the same police officer to stop making any arrest within the vicinity of the defendant’s business.
During the trial of the defendant, the said police officer became the only witness testifying against the defendant. The officer told the court that he knew the defendant was a drug dealer. According to his testimony, he received money from the defendant at least 15 to 20 times more. The officer acted as the protector of the defendant’s illegal dealings and drug crimes.
It should be noted that the witness did not come forward with this information. He was confronted by other members of the force who suspected him for taking bribe money. The officer had no choice but to cooperate with the investigating team. In order to catch the defendant committing a drug crime, the officer went undercover and resumed his normal behaviour in the presence of the defendant. However this time, the defendant did not know that he had a microphone attached to his body underneath his police uniform.
Based on the presented information and testimony of the police officer who was also considered as an accomplice, the court had to determine if there was a need for the testimony to be supported with another witness. According to criminal law, if the testimony of the accomplice, in this case also the witness, is not corroborated, the defendant should not be charged for any crime.
The accomplice in this case is the police officer since he was also a witness to the drug crime and has contributed to the criminal behaviour of the defendant. Since the defendant repeatedly bribed the police officer to receive police protection for his drug business, the defendant revealed his intention of committing a crime while the police officer turns a blind eye.
Based on the statements, the police officer agreed to keep silent and avoid making any arrests within the vicinity of the defendant’s business. It is in this circumstance that the police officer became the defendant’s accomplice to the crime. The officer also became an accomplice since he would have continued to accept more money or the investigating team could have arrested him had the confrontation scene not happened.
While taking into consideration the accomplice definition, the court may have reason to doubt the testimony of the witness because of his cooperation in becoming an undercover agent. The behaviour of the witness can become questionable since he agreed to testify against the defendant. As a former accomplice and now a witness to a crime, the police officer may be making up his statements or embellishing facts so that the court will accept them as truths.
Upon further examination of previous statements and records, the court found out that corroborative or supporting evidence was indeed lacking. The witness testimony relies on taped recordings and the confession of the police officer. With the matters of legality now clear to the court, the defendant’s motion for dismissal was granted for lack of sufficient evidence to support the testimony of the witness.
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