Features — 19 March 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett
Marlon Harris, ex-cop, has extortion appeal dismissed

Harris, 37, was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 when he was convicted

In March of 2010, PC Marlon Harris was convicted of extortion by a jury of 9 after they heard evidence of his alleged participation in the matter. When he was sentenced, instead of a custodial sentence, he was ordered to pay $10,000 by the end of September of that year.

According to the report to police, on November 30, 2008, Ayetekin Kelat was driving a vehicle with an expired insurance when he arrived at a checkpoint where Harris was posted at the time. Kelat was summoned to appear at court on December 1, 2008.

But later on November 30, Harris arrived at Celebrity Restaurant where Kelat was the manager, and told him that he could make the matter “go away” if Kelat paid him $100.

Before handing over the money, Kelat called David Henderson, the Assistant ComPol at the time, who arrived at the restaurant and was able to retrieve the money from Harris.

Dissatisfied with his fate, Harris, via his attorney Hon. Said Musa, appealed the conviction and was granted an audience before the judges.

Musa’s grounds for appealing the conviction were the following: (1) the verdict was unreasonable in regards to the evidence; (2) the judge erred when he misdirected the jurors, when he stated that the appellant denied that he accepted the money from Kelat; (3) that the judge also erred in his summation when he implied that it was a proven fact that the appellant demanded money from Kelat; (4) that the judge erred when, referring to the Belize constitution, he explained who was a public officer and then concluded that police officer was a public officer; and (5) that the judge failed to give a full “good character” description of the appellant.

But after hearing the arguments, the Appeal judges dismissed the appeal.

Harris still has to pay the $10,000 fine which was initially ordered.

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