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VYBZ KARTEL TRIAL: Press, ordinary citizens barred from hearing cybercrimes expert testify

Published:Thursday | December 5, 2013 | 12:09 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator



Members of the public, including the press were this morning barred from hearing testimonies from a cybercrimes expert at the Vybz Kartel murder trial because of national security concerns.




When the matter started, Detective Sergeant Patrick Linton was called to give evidence.



In 2011, the detective was head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Communication Forensic and Cybercrimes Unit at the Organised Crime Investigation Division.



However, before the start, lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor suggested that the matter be heard in camera, based on the sensitive nature of the evidence.



He said the nature of the testimony involved matters being used in current investigations.



The Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions said rather than leave it to the judgment of the press, he would rather they not hear it.



Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson said his side considered Taylor’s request and the overriding national interest.



Tavares-Finson said he has no doubt about the integrity of the press but of out an abundance of caution, it is better the matter not be heard in public.



The lawyer also said he did not take lightly, the role of the court and press in a democratic society.



He also said the issue of the national security should not be taken lightly.



Justice Lennox Campbell then asked the members of the press and ordinary citizens to leave the courtroom in the public interest.



Meanwhile, the judge is now hearing legal arguments in absence on jury.



Evidence been given in the trial that during the course of the investigation, a number of phones were seized from some of the accused persons including Kartel.



Kartel is jointly charged with fellow entertainer Shawn Campbell also known as Shawn Storm, Kahira Jones, Shane Williams and Andre St John for the August 16, 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.



Williams was allegedly killed over two missing guns.



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