Kartel trial goes in camera

Published: Friday | December 6, 2013 Comments 0

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The trial of entertainer Vybz Kartel continued yesterday in a closed session because of the sensitive nature of the evidence.

Members of the public, including the press were barred from hearing testimonies from a cybercrimes expert because of national security concerns.

When Detective Sergeant Patrick Linton was called to give evidence yesterday, lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor made an application for his testimony to be given in camera because of the sensitive nature of the evidence.

In 2011, the detective was head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Communication Forensic and Cybercrimes Unit at the Organised Crime Investigation Division.

Taylor told the court that the high-tech crime expert will be alluding to technologies that were used in current investigations. He said rather than leave it to the judgment of the members of the press, he preferred they did not hear it.

Abundance of caution

Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson said the defence considered Taylor's request and the overriding national interest and while he had no doubt about the integrity of the press, out of an abundance of caution, agreed Linton's testimony should not be heard in public.

Finson said he did not take lightly the role of the court and the press in a democracy but did not take the issue of national security lightly.

Justice Lennox Campbell in granting the application said the view of the court was that the issues that would now be aired before the court is of such that in the public interest, "I am going to ask the members of the press to withdraw".

The jurors were asked to return on Monday because a hearing is taking place in their absence.

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