Digicel gives testimony as Kartel trial heads to 2014

Published: Saturday | December 14, 2013 Comments 0

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

THE MURDER trial of entertainer Vybz Kartel and his four co-accused is heading into the new year.

Yesterday, Justice Lennox Campbell told the 12 jurors to confer among themselves and give an input on the days on which the trial should proceed during the legal vacation, which starts on December 20 and ends on January 6.

"It appears, at this state, that we will not be able to complete the case before the onset of the holidays, and it is likely we will be adjourning on Friday of next week for a date to continue," Campbell told the jurors.

The judge said suggestions had been put forward, one of which was that the court should reconvene on December 30 and another suggestion was that the case should continue on January 2. He said he was soliciting the input of the jurors.

Yesterday, Mario Assad, group chief technology officer at telecoms provider Digicel, testified at the trial in the Home Circuit Court.

After his testimony, the jurors were told to return next Tuesday, as on Monday, the court will continue hearing in their absence the evidence of Sergeant Patrick Linton, former head of the police cybercrimes unit. Linton, who has been testifying since last week Thursday, was given a break yesterday.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is charged jointly with fellow entertainer Shawn Campbell, also known as Shawn Storm; Kahira Jones; Shane Williams; and André St John for the August 16, 2011 alleged murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams. The Crown is alleging that Williams was beaten to death over two missing guns.


Yesterday, Assad said he had 19 years in the telecoms field. He said Digicel has cell sites and towers across the geography of Jamaica and provides signals to and from mobile phones when calls are made. He said the call-data record contains details about the calls.

Cross-examined by attorney-at-law Michael Lorne, who is representing Campbell, the witness said that if the network was not operational at the time a call was made, there would be no call-data record. He said it was possible for people to clone SIM cards if they crack the code.

In answering to Christian Tavares-Finson, who is representing Kartel, the witness said the call-data records were not kept in a database, but were contained in files. He said he was aware of a case of hacking into Digicel's database which was before the court.

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