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Chin shocks court with new evidence

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

The contents of recordings made by Rodney Chin in regard to the Cuban light-bulb racket may be made public on Monday if Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn succeeds in having them admitted into evidence.

"The prosecution would be seeking to put in the recordings on Monday," Llewellyn told reporters after the trial was adjourned late yesterday afternoon.

The adjournment came after defence attorney K.D. Knight expressed concern that the unique identification number outlined in the statement of expert witness, Sergeant Patrick Linton, on one of the cellular phones used by Chin to record the conversations was different from the number on the evidence bag containing the phone.

The phone in question contains 27 recordings, 25 of which are alleged to have taken place between North East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Kern Spencer and Chin. The prosecution has thus far not been able to tender it into evidence but has marked it for identification.

Meanwhile, Llewellyn told the court that there was a "logical explanation" for the difference in the unique identification number but it required a meeting in the Chambers of Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey to resolve the matter.

Today, both parties, along with Linton and the clerk of the court, will meet at the office of the Organised Crime Unit in downtown Kingston to listen to the recordings.

Third cellphone

Before the adjournment, Chin delivered what Pusey called "shock and awe" when he revealed that a third cellphone had come in contact with the audio recordings.

Chin had earlier told the court that he recorded about six conversations on one Samsung phone and then transferred them to another when the instrument began to malfunction.

A total of 27 recordings were captured on the second phone, the one which is now at the centre of the identification row.

Yesterday, while being questioned by Llewellyn, Chin said he played one recording, which was "special and important", for Superintendent Fitz Bailey from a third cellular phone. He said that it was the only recording that had been transferred to that phone.

Chin's revelation forced an early lunch as defence counsel demanded another statement on the new information. Knight said that up to that point Chin had provided six statements, including four since being on the witness stand.

Chin told the court that he had made the recordings for posterity and to prove his innocence. He said that he never thought that it was important to tell the police that he made the recordings.

The three phones at the centre of the recordings are Samsung, two of which Chin said he stopped using because they began to malfunction. The only phone that has not malfunctioned is that which contains the 27 recordings.

Spencer, along with his former assistant, Coleen Wright, are facing corruption and money-laundering charges arising out of the implementation of the project. Chin was also charged but he later walked free after he turned prosecution witness.