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Defence blasts cops, prosecution at Kartel trial

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014    

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DEFENCE attorney Pierre Rodgers yesterday blasted the police and the prosecution during his closing arguments in the Vybz Kartel murder trial in the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.

Citing the police action as a disgrace, Rodgers did not mince words as he addressed the jury.

"What causes the most shame and disgrace is the behaviour of the police in this case. I have never seen police officers lie through their teeth in front of a jury. I have never seen police officers lose critical pieces of evidence. I have never seen police officers tamper with evidence by leaving keys on lockers," Rodgers said.

Rodgers, who is representing Kahira Jones, singled out cyber crimes expert Sergeant Patrick Linton as the object of his chagrin.

He said the BlackBerry message extracted from a cellular phone ascribed to Vybz Kartel, in which someone allegedly boasted that Clive 'Lizard' Williams was chopped up 'fine fine', was created after the phone was taken from the artiste.

"The worst of it is a BB message 'wi chop up the boy Lizard'. Evidence presented by the crown shows that text was created three hours after the phone was seized by police," Rodgers said.

Labelling the behaviour of the police as 'criminal', 'unscrupulous' and 'immoral', Rodgers also blasted head of the Flying Squad, Senior Superintendent Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford. He said SSP Ford had not only lost his notebook, but had handed over more phones than he had taken from the accused.

"Him get six phone but is 10 him give Pitt? If this is not evidence of a police makeup then what is? Weh the other four phones come from? Ten phones versus six, him tek the whole a we fi idiot," Rodgers told the jurors.

Lead prosecutor Jeremy Taylor also came in for a tongue lashing from Rodgers who informed the court that he was once wearing the hat of prosecutor.

"On the evidence presented to you I don't know how a prosecutor could think he could make you feel sure. Why tamper with the evidence? Why pretty up the thing if you feel good evidence is there? Is it that he is asking you to bury your head in the sand. Mr Taylor is doing nothing more than facilitating the police in this foul plot," Taylor said.

Earlier attorney Miguel Lorne, who represents Shawn 'Storm' Campbell, said the prosecution was clutching at straws and also accused the police of bungling and manipulating the investigation.

Vybz Kartel, Jones, Campbell, Shane Williams and André St John, are expected to hear their fate in the next few days after Rodgers, Tamika Harris and Everton Dewar present their closing arguments, and Justice Lennox Campbell sums up the case and hands it to the jury for their verdict.

The trial will continue today when Rodgers is expected to continue his closing argument.

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