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Judge to make final decision on Kern tapes

Published:Wednesday | March 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey will today determine which parts of alleged recordings between Rodney Chin and Kern Spencer should be admitted to evidence in the trial of Spencer and co-defendant Coleen Wright.

After protracted arguments from both sides yesterday, Pusey retired at 3:30 p.m. to decide whether she would read the transcript of a recording, labelled 22A, to decide which sections should be heard in court, or if she should play the said recording in court and decide which parts were applicable to the case.

The Crown, led by Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, applied for the tapes to be played in court so that star witness Rodney Chin could refresh his memory and corroborate what was captured.

Not comfortable

However, Pusey was not comfortable with that arrangement, as she preferred that Chin describe in some specifics what was said on the recordings, thus determining what could be played in court.

Llewellyn said it was not "humanly possible" for Chin to remember the conversations verbatim.

K.D. Knight, one of the defence lawyers, argued that the tape in question, 22A, was riddled with hearsay. Knight said that the prosecution had not laid the foundation for the relevance of playing the recording in court.

The former co-accused had earlier said he and Spencer had heated discussions about what he described as Spencer taking issue with him speaking the truth about his involvement with one of the companies contracted in the Cuban light bulb project.

Chin said Spencer was not happy that Chin was saying he had fronted the company, which was not what they had agreed on.

He also said that he and Spencer discussed the case of two drivers changing statements they had initially made to the contractor general.