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DPP ordered to produce notes

Published:Saturday | April 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Mark Beckford, Staff Reporter

THE DEFENCE in the much publicised Kern Spencer trial should by Monday have in their possession notes recorded by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn during a meeting she had with star witness Rodney Chin, his lawyers and the police in September 2008.

Senior Resident Magistrate (SRM) Judith Pusey, yesterday ordered that the notes be handed over to Spencer's lawyers. Her ruling was in response to a request from the defence team of Spencer and Coleen Wright to have the notes given to them.

Since last Monday, the defence, led by Spencer's attorney, Patrick Atkinson, has been pressing for Llewellyn to reveal her notes, after Chin testified that he had seen the DPP taking notes during the meeting.

The meeting took place shortly after Chin gave a statement to the police on September 19 about his involvement in the Cuban light-bulb affair. Spencer's lawyers argued that it was unfair for them to proceed without the notes as it prohibited them from preparing for the case properly.

In her ruling, SRM Pusey said "It's trite law that information in possession of the prosecution which advances the prosecution's case and can assist the defense must be disclosed. This is based on the principle of fairness of a trial, the principles of natural justice and the fact that the accused should know the case he is to meet."

Written account should be presented

SRM Pusey in her submission also said, "the authorities from other jurisdictions, which are persuasive, suggest that if no note or memorandum in writing was created, then a written account should be presented."

The defence was happy with the ruling with Atkinson describing it as a "major victory for justice and fairness".

Atkinson's request for the case to be dismissed was, however, declined by SRM Pusey who said, "In light of the decision that the substance of the interview or the notes taken must be disclosed, it is not necessary to deal with the question raised by Mr Atkinson regarding dismissing this matter at this juncture on the basis of unfairness."

After the ruling, Llewellyn, who had earlier said she made no notes relating to the trial and who had said she would not be producing any notes, asked Pusey whose notes should be produced since there were several persons taking notes in the meeting. Pusey again reiterated that it was her notes which the court needed.

Spencer and Wright are facing corruption and money-laundering charges arising from their alleged involvement in the implementation of the Cuban light-bulb project.

The trial will resume on Tuesday.