JDF confirms Klansman accused was an army manThursday, January 27, 2022
Two officials of the Jamaica Defence Force on Thursday morning confirmed that Jermaine Robinson, one of the 33 accused now facing trial for crimes allegedly committed by the St Catherine-based Klansman Gang had been a member of the army from August 2015 until 2021.
However, Robinson, who was a part of the engineering regiment up to the time of his arrest in 2019, had been on leave for several periods between May 2016 until he was handed over to the authorities on account of an injury which saw his right arm being placed in a cast.
In December last year a police sleuth recalled for the court the July 22, 2019 arrest of the former JDF operative. According to the detective, acting on instructions from a “superior officer, he in the company of two other detectives visited the army base in St Andrew where he was escorted to a room to meet Robinson who was “dressed in military clothing”.
He said the young private who was attached to the engineering regiment of the JDF provided him with a Trelawny address. He said Robinson, when told he was a suspect in the gang investigations and informed that he would be taken into custody, said nothing. A search of his quarters at Up Park Camp the detective said revealed nothing “incriminating”.
In November, the lead detective in his evidence said during a visit to Robinson at the Grants Pen Police lockup where he was taken into custody, the army man told him that his father was also a member of the JDF.
In early November, witness number 1 in his evidence alleged that Robinson was agitated that the gang was losing ground after its alleged leader Andre 'Blackman' Bryan was locked up in 2018 when the gang began splintering.
He said the army man who was another member of Bryan's security detail had been introduced to him in 2017 by Bryan who said, “a soldier dis innuh”. He said he saw Robinson on several other occasions involving the gang and detailed one instance where he said Robinson, who had injured one hand which was placed in a cast, handled an AK 47 with the other hand. He claimed that Robinson was often where Bryan was.
According to the witness, the last time he saw the army man was at a checkpoint in Spanish Town.
“He told them not to search mi and just let mi through,” the witness said.
He claimed Robinson who was clad in the JDF garb said, “let him through, mi know him”.
He told the Court that Robinson then pulled him aside and asked him if he hadn't heard from “the general” and asked for his (the witness' telephone number).
In November, Roxine Smith, the attorney representing Robinson in cross examining witness number two (the first witness, also a former gang member turned Crown witness) had argued that Robinson hardly had any time to commit crimes, having been stationed in Flankers in Montego Bay, St James after graduating as a member of the JDF in 2016. She said her client was transferred to Kingston in 2017 and placed in a special course at Up Park Camp, where he was confined. That witness however countered that although Robinson hardly had time due to work, he still played a role in the gang.
- Alicia Dunkley-Willis