Dancehall artiste Elephant Man, who reportedly lied to immigration authorities about his trip to Belgium, which was on then on a list of countries for which Jamaica had imposed travel bans, is to return to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on May 12.
A mention date was set for last Wednesday, and the entertainer appeared in court with his attorney, Christopher Townsend.
The lawyer disclosed that he requested to see a tape of what transpired in the immigration hall on Elephant Man’s arrival from Europe over a year ago, only for the prosecution to turn up with the wrong tape.
“We have been asking for the videotape for the longest while and because of the length of time, we became suspicious that we could have been presented with a doctored tape. Now, after a year, they gave us the tape of a store, which looks like a pharmacy. How on earth do they make that mistake? The next thing they will tell us is that it can no longer be extracted,” an exasperated Townsend told Loop News.
The entertainer, who was christened Oneal Bryan, is facing charges of making a false declaration and false volunteer declaration.
It is alleged that he violated Jamaica’s Immigration Act, specifically Section 8 (5) which stipulates that arrivals in Jamaica must make a truthful declaration to immigration officers about their recent travel history.
He is charged along with Kevin Shields, a disc jockey who was travelling with him at the time of the incident.
Townsend said he remains suspicious of the prosecution’s actions or the lack of it on the provision of the video.
“We asked for the tape within the prescribed time, and it’s been over a year. How must we have faith in the judicial system? The prosecutor gave the undertaking to get the correct tape by the next court date, but we are even more suspicious now because our worst expectations, our nightmare, is coming through, and so said, so done, because they produced the wrong tape,” he said.
Bail for both accused were extended.
According to the allegations, on March 20 last year, Bryan arrived at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James and failed to declare on the immigration and customs form that he had visited Brussels in Belgium.
As a result, on March 23, summonses were prepared for breaches of the Immigration (Restriction of Commonwealth Citizens) and Perjury Acts and served on Bryan. Similar summonses were prepared and served on Shields.
Shields is being represented by attorney Russell Stewart.