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VYBZ KARTEL TRIAL: Judge orders statement from prosecution's handwriting expert

Published:Friday | February 14, 2014 | 12:58 PM

It was revealed in the Vybz Kartel murder trial this morning that the prosecution used a handwriting expert to examine two documents the defense is claiming were written by the State’s main witness in the case.

It was also revealed that the examination of the documents was abandoned after 30 minutes.

Supreme Court judge Justice Lennox Campbell has instructed the prosecution to get a statement from a handwriting expert it used to examine two documents.

When the trial resumed his morning defense lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson said that it came to his intelligence that the prosecution had a handwriting expert to look at the signature of the main witness contained on a statement to the police and a letter allegedly sent to the Public Defender.

It has been alleged that the prosecution’s main witness, had written to the Public Defender claiming he had been forced to give a statement to the police.

In court today, Tavares-Finson said his intelligence told him that a William Smiley looked at the documents.

He added that he had previously asked the prosecution for a handwriting expert but the Crown had failed to do so.

He said up to now a report has not been provided to the defense as a means of disclosure.

However, lead prosecutor, Jeremy Taylor told the court that he had discussions with the defense and informed them that there was no report.

He said he gave Tavares-Finson the name of the expert before they went on the Christmas break.

Taylor also said the prosecution did not pursue the examination and that he had told the defense.

However, Kartel’s lawyer insisted that the prosecution did tell the court that the expert had examined the documents for about half an hour and abandoned it.

Tavares-Finson said he wants a statement from the expert as to what he did with the documents and why he abandoned his examination.

Justice Campbell questioned Tavares-Finson if he was told before the holiday that the expert had done an examination.

The lawyer responded that he was told that the expert did not do a report but had asked the judge to instruct that the prosecution present a report.

Justice Campbell then instructed the prosecutor to obtain a statement.

Meanwhile, the prosecution is continuing its cross-examination of the defense witness and handwriting expert, retired superintendent of police, Karl Major.

The ex-policeman said he examined the documents in contention and it was his opinion that the signature on the police witness statement and the letter to the public defender were written by the same person.

The witness has denied writing the letter.

The Crown is alleging that Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer; entertainer Shawn Campbell, popularly known as Shawn Storm; André St John; Shane Williams; and Kahira Jones, murdered Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams on August 16, 2011.

All the defendants have given unsworn testimony declaring their innocence.


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