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Cuban lightbulb trial again postponed

BY KARYL WALKER Editor -- Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013    

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THE corruption trial of former parliamentarian Kern Spencer and his personal assistant Colleen Wright was again postponed when it came up for mention in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.

The trial was set to resume yesterday, but was put off because a judgement on an appeal — brought by Senior Corporate Area Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey against a judicial review that overturned her decision against Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn  is not due until late March.

The trial has been delayed for over a year.

In 2011, Pusey refused to set aside a subpoena she ordered for Llewellyn to give evidence about what occurred during a meeting with former Cuban light bulb co-accused Rodney Chin.

Chin has since become a Crown witness and charges against him were dropped.

Pusey also ruled that Llewellyn, who is leading the prosecution of the case, remains out of court pending her testimony.

But Llewellyn challenged those orders in the Judicial Review Court, which, in a two-to-one ruling on March 26 last year, overruled the senior magistrate.

Spencer, a former junior energy minister, and Wright are facing corruption, fraud and money laundering charges over their handling of the Cuban light bulb project.

Spencer, Wright and Chin were arrested in February 2008 after irregularities were discovered in the handling of the distribution of energy-saving light bulbs, which were a gift from the Cuban government.

The trial is expected to resume on April 4.

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