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March 11, 2014
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KARTEL TRIAL - Jurors asked to determine credibility of witness
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator


The jurors trying entertainer Vybz Kartel have been called upon by Justice Lennox Campbell to determine if the prosecution's main witness 'is a witness of truth'.

He made the comment as he reviewed the evidence given by the witness in the Home Circuit Court.

The judge reminded the 11-member jury that the defence lawyers had argued that the Crown's case was one of concoction and fabrication by the police and the main witness.

Justice Campbell said it was possible for a witness to make mistake with identification and they must examine carefully the circumstances by which the accused men were identified by the prosecution's witness.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is charged jointly with fellow entertainer Shawn Campbell, also called Shawn Storm; Kahira Jones; Shane Williams and André St John. Williams for the murder of for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams who was allegedly beaten to death at Kartel's Havendale house over two missing guns.

Voice notes

The judge asked the jurors to consider if the voice notes indicated that Kartel, from his utterances, was saying that there was a problem. The judge referred to one of the voice notes in which Kartel was allegedly issuing threats to do harm if his two shoes (guns) were not returned by a certain time.

On the issue of voice identification, the judge said people sounded like people therefore the evidence had to be cogent and there must be a degree of familiarity with the voice. The judge said also that it was possible for an honest witness to make a mistake with identification and they must examine carefully the circumstances by which the accused men were identified by the witness. They were asked to consider how long the witness knew Kartel and his co-accused. How often he used to see them, and if anything interfered with his identification of the men.

They were told to use their common sense and experience, and it was open to them to decide what evidence to reject or accept in whole or in part. He also said if they did not accept the evidence of the experts they did not have to act on it.

Yesterday, the judge dismissed a complaint from defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson that last week Friday he received a report from his colleagues that the judge was receiving notes in relation to the correctness of his summation. The judge said that was not so and said the practice at the end of the summation was that the judge would call on the lawyers for both sides to say if anything had been left out.

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