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CUBAN LIGHT BULB TRIAL: Thumb drive cannot be admitted into evidence

Published:Monday | February 24, 2014 | 5:47 PM

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey this afternoon ruled that a thumb drive taken from an apartment occupied by Kern Spencer and his co-accused Colleen Wright cannot be admitted into evidence.

The corruption trial of the former junior minister Kern Spencer today heard evidence that a forensic examination of the thumb drive revealed that thousands of files 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 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 belong to Spencer.

Linton gave evidence that months 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.

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 also objected to the contents of the thumb drive being tendered into evidence.

Senior Resident Magistrate Pusey later ruled against the device being admitted as evidence.


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