Friday, February 22, 2019

Vybz Kartel juror to know fate this month

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Jamaica Observer:–  LIVINGSTON Cain, the juror accused of bribing fellow jurors in the Vybz Kartel (Adidja Palmer) murder trial, will know his fate later this month.

Cain’s attorney, Queen’s Counsel Valerie Neita Robertson, made a no-case submission after the prosecution closed its case against him in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday.

Neita Robertson, in her no-case submission, argued that her client is entitled to his own analysis of the evidence and that he had such a view in respect of several areas of the evidence.

She also argued that two of the witnesses corroborated Cain’s view, testifying during the bribery trial, that the prosecutor in the Vybz Kartel trial did not present enough evidence to say that the men were guilty.

Cain is being tried on six counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, following allegations that he was captured on a phone recording offering the jury foreman in the Kartel murder trial $500,000 for a notguilty verdict.

He is also accused of approaching other jurors and promising one of them that he would “take care of him” if he returned a not-guilty verdict.

The charges stem from allegations that between the start of Vybz Kartel’s murder trial in the Home Circuit Court on November 18, 2013 and the rendering of a verdict in the matter in March 2014, Cain tried to persuade his fellow jurors to return a verdict of not guilty and even offered the jury forewoman $500,000 for a result in favour of Vybz Kartel and his co-accused.

Vybz Kartel, Shawn “Shawn Storm” Campbell, Andre St John, and Kahira Jones were convicted in the high-profile case, while a fifth man — Shane Williams — was acquitted. The convicted men were sentenced to life imprisonment. They are currently appealing the case, with the appeal set for September.

Parish Judge Maxine Ellis told the court that she would have to refresh her memory with the evidence before she can make a ruling, given the fact that the matter has been before the court since 2015.

Yesterday morning the Crown called its final witness, Deputy Superintendent Percival Anderson, investigating officer assigned to the Kingston Central Police Station.

Anderson told the court that the complainant’s cellular phone that was used to record Cain was never handed over to him and that he did not request it as part of the investigation.

However, he said the juror’s statements were used as the evidence.

He gave the testimony during his evidence–in chief at the trial.

During cross-examination from Neita Robertson, she suggested that the phone would be an exhibit.

“Yes ma’am,” he replied.

Neita Robertson asked Anderson, “So you did not request to ascertain whether or not the recording was authentic?

“At the time the forewoman would be regarded as the complainant, and you would agree with me that it would be important for the individuals with the technical expertise to ascertain if the recordings were authentic. Am I to understand Officer, that you accepted the veracity of the report you received from the foreman?”

“Yes ma’am,” Anderson replied.

The court was told that the cellular phone was seized and examined by police cybercrime personnel and returned to the complainant within hours.

However, the police officer, with 31 years of service, agreed with the attorney’s suggestion that if the recordings were spliced, they would affect the integrity and that it would throw doubts on the veracity of the complainant.

He also agreed that exhibits that formed the basis of a case should be kept in the possession of the police or the court.

The case is to continue on September 18.

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