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February 14, 2014
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Handwriting expert testifies in Kartel's trial
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

A handwriting expert has testified at the Vybz Kartel murder trial that in his opinion, the letter that was sent to the Office of the Public Defender was written and signed by the prosecution's main witness.

The witness denied several times under cross-examination that he wrote and signed the letter, which stated that he had given his statement out of fear and that he had seen Clive 'Lizard' Williams alive after August 16, 2011.

The Crown is alleging that Williams was beaten to death on August 16, 2011, at Kartel's house in Havendale, St Andrew, over two missing guns.

Yesterday, the defence called retired Senior Superintendent Carl Major, who said he has been a handwriting expert since 1979. He said on November 29, defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson made a particular request and gave him a number of documents. The documents included 14 sheets of a statement, which bore a certain signature and a handwritten letter bearing a certain signature which was addressed to the public defender.

He said he examined them and made comparisons and found that the signatures on the statements and letter addressed to the public defender were written by the same person.

He said last year, he was the handwriting expert for the prosecution in the murder case of police Constable Lescene Edwards.

Lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor had objected to the statements being tendered in evidence but Tavares-Finson said the statements were shown to the witness during cross-examination and he had admitted that it was a true photocopy of his signature on the statements. Tavares-Finson then pointed out that the original statements could not be shown to the witness because the prosecution had lost the original statements.

Major then faced an intense cross-examination from Taylor, which led to Major saying at one stage that the prosecutor wanted him to give false statements. He will be further cross-examined today.

The Crown is alleging at the trial in the Home Circuit Court that Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer; entertainer Shawn Campbell, popularly known as Shawn Storm; Kahiro Jones; Shane Williams, and André St John murdered Clive 'Lizard' Williams.

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