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CUBAN LIGHT BULB TRIAL: Forensic examination reveals files of 'evidentiary value' on thumb drive

Published:Monday | February 24, 2014 | 2:16 PM

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The corruption trial of former junior minister Kern Spencer today heard evidence that a forensic examination of a thumb drive taken from the apartment he shared with his co-accused and former personal assistant Colleen Wright revealed thousands of files that had been deleted.

That was the testimony given by police forensic expert Sergeant Patrick Linton when the trial resumed in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

According to Linton, the thumb drive was found in what he described as a home office at the New Kingston apartment during a search conducted in February 2008.

He testified that Wright was present during the search and when asked, she informed him that the thumb drive belonged to Spencer.

Linton gave evidence that months later after discussions with then head of the Organised Crime Investigations Division, Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, he examined the device and "observed that all the files and folders were deleted."

That's when the former head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's cyber crimes unit said he conducted what he called a file carving exercise to retrieve the content of the device.

"At this point I observed several thousand deleted files," he testified, noting that these include Microsoft Word documents, Excel worksheets and photographs.

Linton said he selected 198 documents, 140 of which were found to be of evidentiary value based on discussions with investigators.

Asked by prosecutor Tracy-Ann Johnson about the authenticity of the files he found, the police forensic expert said "it would be mathematically unfeasible to create a thumb drive with matching content."

Defence attorneys have objected to the contents of the thumb drive being tendered into evidence and Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey is to decide this afternoon.


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