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March 13, 2014
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Fireworks at Kartel's trial - Judge, attorney clash
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator


Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm as they head out of the Home Circuit Court yesterday. - Jermaine Barnaby

There was fireworks yesterday at the murder trial of entertainer Vybz Kartel when Justice Lennox Campbell ordered defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson to take his seat and threatened to cite him for contempt of court if he disrupted his summation again.

The judge was showing video footage of some men in a house purported to be Kartel's Havendale house in St Andrew, when Tavares-Finson asked him to see to it that the time stamp was shown on the video. One of the men in the video had a pickaxe and one had tattoo on his arm.

The attorney-at-law pointed out that the time stamp on the video was 10:43 p.m. and was created after the alleged incident on August 16, 2011, at the entertainer's house.

Tavares-Finson, however, relented and said he wouldn't disrupt the summation any further, but was asking for the time stamp to be shown because to show the video footage without it was incomplete.

"Please take your seat," the judge ordered, but Finson continued, saying that "it is incomplete without the time stamp."

"I expect much better from you," the judge said, remarking that Tavares-Finson was an experienced lawyer.

"I am well aware of my function and I am aware of your function. All I am saying is if you are showing something to the jury, show all of it, and I say so with the greatest of respect."

stern warning

The judge then remarked that he was at his summation for the fourth day. He said he did not know why Tavares-Finson entered the courtroom so late and "don't know why he is disrupting the summation".

"I will have nothing further to say and I am not the only one who attends this court late," Tavares-Finson responded.

Justice Campbell, in issuing a stern warning, said if the attorney disrupted the summation again, he would have no other option but to take the appropriate course of action to prevent him from doing so.

"I have nothing further to say," Tavares-Finson said, as he left the courtroom for a brief moment.

When the trial resumes today in the Home Circuit Court, the judge will review the evidence of the defence.

barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com

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