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VYBZ KARTEL TRIAL: Judge instructs jurors on how to assess accused unsworn statements

Published:Thursday | March 13, 2014 | 12:42 PM

Barbara Gayle, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Jurors who are expected to deliberate on Vybz Karel’s fate soon have been told the entertainer and his co-accused may have been reluctant to have their defence questioned by prosecutors.




High court judge Lennox Campbell made the comment as he instructed the jurors on how to assess the unsworn statements given by the five accused murderers in the case.



He told the jurors of the three options in law that were opened to the men.



Justice Campbell said the accused men could have said nothing, give unsworn statements or go into the witness box and give their defence under oath or affirmation.



He said if they had gone into the box, they could have face cross-examination, questions from the jurors or the judge.



He said because Kartel and his co-accused did not give sworn statements, the jurors cannot say the men are guilty.



The judge said to the jurors that they may be wondering why the men elected to make unsworn statements.



He said it could be that the accused were reluctant to put evidence to the test of cross-examination.



He told the jurors that it is for them to determine if the unsworn statements were of any value.



And the judge told the 11-member panel that if the evidence of the prosecution satisfies them beyond reasonable doubt, they should weigh it as they think is fit.



Vybz Kartel arriving for court this morning. - Photo by Jermain Barnaby

Vybz Kartel arriving for court this morning. - Photo by Jermain Barnaby



The judge is now reviewing the unsworn statements of Vybz Kartel.



He has read for the jury what the entertainer had said.



Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer; entertainer Shawn Campbell, popularly known as Shawn Storm, André St John; Shane Williams and Kahira Jones are on trial for the August 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.



It is alleged that Williams was killed at Kartel’s Havendale, St Andrew house over two missing guns.



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