‘I’m a very honest officer’


- accused tells Court Martial

June 4, 2015 By Alusine Sesay

Squadron Leader Joseph Philip Shenks, who is standing trial for forgery at the regular court martial at Army Headquarters, Cockerill, has told the court he is a very honest officer that has been appraised by the military hierarchy for best and holistic military performance.

Shenks was responding after it was put to him by prosecuting counsel Ishmael Philip Mammy that he had forged all the documents shown to him and that he was the most dishonest officer.

Several documents were shown to the accused to identify his signature on each but he denied knowledge of all.

A statement from one Major Crow of the International Military Advisory Training Team (IMATT) in which he refused to support the Squadron Leader to study in the UK was shown to the accused. But again he denied knowing the said Major and that they have never met.

The prosecution also put it to the accused that Major Crow knew he had forged the study leave letter, thus his (Crow) refusal to support the accused to study in the UK.

A document marked Exhibit ‘I’, which is an application letter for study leave, was shown to the accused, but he replied that he could not tell whether the document was the one he wrote in 2011 or not. He also denied being signatory to the said Exhibit ‘I’.

The prosecution again put it to the accused that the said document was the official letter he wrote for study leave, but the latter insisted that he could not tell whether that was the document he authored or if the signature on it was his because he is not a forensic expert.

He was then re-examined by lead defence counsel, E.E.C. Shears-Moses, to clarify some ambiguities.

The defence promised to produce one more witness to testify.

Squadron Leader Shenks is standing trial on two counts of forgery and conduct to the prejudice of good military order and discipline.

The accused denies all the charges, while the matter has been in court for over nine months now.

The judge advocate adjourned until 9 June.