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VYBZ KARTEL TRIAL: Jury could decide on Palmer, co-accused fate this week

Published:Monday | February 17, 2014 | 8:57 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

After three months of hearing evidence, jurors in the Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer murder trial could this week be asked to deliberate on the fate of the entertainer and his four co-accused.

Last Tuesday, presiding judge, Justice Lennox Campbell, told the 11-member panel that he will hand over the case to them this week for them to deliberate.

Since November 18 last year, Kartel and his co-accused have been on trial in the Home Circuit Court for the August 16, 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

The Crown has alleged that Williams was killed over two missing guns at the entertainer’s Havendale, St Andrew house.

All the defendants have given unsworn testimonies, claiming that they are innocent of the murder charge brought against them.

They claimed innocence last week after the judge dismissed the no-case submissions made by the defense lawyers.

When the matter resumes this morning, the prosecution will continue its cross-examination of defense witness and handwriting expert, retired superintendent of police, Karl Major.

The ex-policeman has given evidence contradicting statements from the key witness in the case regarding a letter allegedly written to the Public Defender.

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

In court last week, the hand writing expert said it was his opinion that the signatures on the police witness statement and the letter to the public defender were written by the same person.

The prosecution is expected to submit a statement to the court this week from another handwriting expert it used briefly to examine the documents last year.

Justice Campbell gave the order for the statement after defense lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson said it had come to his attention that the prosecution had a handwriting expert, William Smiley, examine the documents.

The lawyer told the court that the prosecution has not submitted a report on the examination, that was abandoned after 30 minutes.

The lead prosecutor, Jeremy Taylor responded saying he had discussions with the defense and informed that there was no report.

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

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

Kartel is jointly charged with fellow entertainer Shawn Campbell also known as Shawn Storm, Kahira Jones, Shane Williams and Andre St John.


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