Kartel juror denies fondling court official

May 09, 2017
In this 2014 photo, Vybz Kartel (centre) left the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.
Vybz Kartel
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The woman who served as jury foreman in the murder trial of popular entertainer Vybz Kartel has denied suggestions that she fondled a court clerk inside the jury room during the proceedings.

She, however, admitted to embracing or hugging the clerk several times in full view of other jurors.

The behind-the-scenes look inside the jury room for the Vybz Kartel trial came yesterday as the woman gave evidence in the corruption trial of Livingston Caine, the former juror accused of trying to convince his counterparts to free the entertainer and his four co-accused of murder.

She acknowledged, during cross-examination by defence attorney Valerie Neita Robertson, that the clerk, because of his duties, visited the jury room on several occasions.

 

Fiery exchange

 

"Is it correct that on some occasions you would embrace Mr [clerk, whose name is being withheld]?" Neita-Roberston questioned.

"Yes," she replied.

"And on some occasions you, in particular, would fondle him?" the attorney pressed.

The woman laughed before later insisting that the suggestion was incorrect.

Prosecutors, however, objected to the question, setting off a fiery exchange with the veteran criminal defence attorney.

"That question is irrelevant. It is scandalous and it is vexatious," the prosecutor said.

But Neita-Roberston would not relent, questioning why the jury foreman was hugging the court clerk.

"We became friends. We were serving in the trial for five months," the woman replied.

"Are you aware that he was serving in a professional capacity?" the attorney continued.

"Yes," the woman replied.

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