No-shows stall trial of Kartel, Bling
PROSECUTORS AND DEFENCE attorneys in the perversion case brought against popular entertainers Vybz Kartel and Vanessa Bling got an earful from an irate magistrate yesterday after several issues forced an adjournment in the long-awaited trial.
Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, and Bling (formerly Gaza Slim), whose given name is Vanessa Saddler, along with André Henry, more popularly known as 'Pim Pim', were set to go on trial in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court for attempting and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
However, while all five members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force down to give evidence were present, prosecutors revealed that two of the four remaining witnesses were off the island and that it would take some time to make contact with them.
At the same time, attorney-at-law Nicole Burgher, who substituted for Saddler's attorney, Pierre Rogers, told the court that she had just received five witness statements from prosecutors and had not yet had a chance to peruse them and take instructions from her client.
TAVARES-FINSON READY FOR TRIAL
Attorney-at-law Christian Tavares-Finson, who substituted for his father, Tom, and represented Kartel, indicated that he was ready for trial.
The disclosures by prosecutors and Burgher, however, did not sit well with Resident Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reese, who questioned why the issues were just being brought to her attention.
"When the matter was set for trial in March, no one came forward to say they had any issues ... . These things should have been ironed out from then," Wolfe-Reese said, making it clear that she was equally upset with the prosecutors and defence attorneys.
"It makes no sense to commence a matter when we don't know when the next date will be," she added, before adjourning the case until Thursday.
Police investigators have alleged that in October 2011, Saddler filed a false report at the Constant Spring Police Station claiming that she was robbed and beaten by a man she identified as Clive 'Lizard' Williams.
At the time, Kartel and four other men were on trial for killing Williams, whose body was never found. Investigators charged that it was an attempt to assist the accused's case.
Kartel and three of his co-accused have since been convicted for killing Williams and given life sentences.