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VYBZ KARTEL TRIAL: Judge bemoans only the poor being called as jurors

Published:Friday | January 10, 2014 | 1:09 PM

Barbara Gayle, justice Coordinator

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Vybz Kartel murder trial was an hour-and-a-half late this morning because a juror did not attend court on time.

The trial usually starts at 10 o'clock each morning.

No reason was offered for the late arrival for the juror.

However, Justice Lennox Campbell has bemoaned that only poor people are being summoned to serve as jurors.

He said that no one from the tourism or bauxite industries, for example, are being summoned to serve as jurors in the Supreme and Resident Magistrates' courts.

"The burden is being placed on those least able to afford," the judge said.

The judge said those who are constantly being called are shopkeepers and dressmakers and of lower economic ranking.

Yesterday afternoon the Kartel trial was adjourned just after prosecutors disclosed that a compact disc or CD containing telephone records cannot be located.

The revelation of the missing CD came during cross examination of telecommunications expert Joseph Simmonds, who is Group Business Risk Director at telecommunications company Digicel.

He told the court that he had prepared a statement along with two computer CDs containing the data extracted from Digicel’s system on 40 telephone numbers.

However, during cross-examination, defense attorney Tom Tavares-Finson asked the judge for permission for lead prosecutor, Jeremy Taylor, to show him the other CD.

Taylor said he did not have the CD as it was missing.

It was revealed in court that one of the CDs was for general use while the other was to be kept private as it contained critical data which would be used to make comparisons.

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.


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