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Defence quizzes Chin

Published:Friday | February 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Mark Beckford, Staff Reporter

Defence lawyers yesterday challenged star witness Rodney Chin's claims about who made the potentially damaging recordings of conversations among Chin, former Junior Minister Kern Spencer and the mother of Spencer's child, Sherene Shakes.

Attorney-at-law Patrick Atkinson, in cross-examining Chin, suggested he was distorting the truth about how the recordings came to be on his phone.

"I am suggesting to you, sir, that you are not being honest with the court about how any of those recordings got on either of those phones," he said.

Chin, however, denied this and said he was being honest in his pronouncements.

"I am being honest and that's your opinion, sir," he said.

At one point, Atkinson asked Chin if he was aware that recordings made secretly by police without lawful permission could not be admitted into evidence.

To this, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn objected, questioning its relevance.

Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey upheld Llewellyn's objection and told the witness to ignore the question.

Recordings probed

Over a two-hour span, Atkinson questioned the origin of the phones: a Samsung U600, U900 and D900; he questioned the origin of the sim cards, how Chin transferred the recordings, how he managed the recordings and the reasons for making the recording.

After Chin was questioned, Detective Sergeant Patrick Linton of the Organised Crime Investi-gation Division and the cyber-crime unit gave testimony about how the police obtained and maintained the recordings.

Linton told the court that he extracted the data from the phone using a mobile forensic device which collects data from mobile phones in a one-way process.

In cross-examining Linton, attorney-at-law K.D. Knight probed how the recordings were placed on the three phones. He questioned whether the recordings could have been placed on the phones from an outside source and if the original recordings were made on one of the phones as Chin, a former co-accused, has testified.

The prosecution is seeking to tender the more than 20 recordings into evidence, but the defence has strongly objected.

Kern Spencer and Coleen Wright are alleged to have benefited improperly from the implemen-tation of the Cuban light-bulb programme.

They are also charged with money laundering and corruption.

Arguments continue today.