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Defence continues to push 'conspiracy' line at Kartel trial

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator — Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014    

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ATTORNEY Everton Dewar yesterday questioned the rationale behind the arrest of his client during his address to jurors in the ongoing Vybz Kartel murder trial in the Home Circuit Court.

Dewar, who is representing co-accused Shane Williams, pointed out to the jurors that the prosecution's main witness hadn't mentioned his client's name in any of his four statements.

Importantly, Dewar noted, the prosecution had said that its only evidence against Williams is a video with no face shown and persons talking. Additionally, the lawyer pointed out that the witness had said that the first time he ever saw the video was in court when he was called back to the stand at the end of the prosecution's case.

"If this was the first time the witness is seeing the video in court and the prosecution said that this was the only evidence against [my client], then why didn't [the witness] identify him before? What is it that caused him to be arrested and charged in the first place when the evidence is coming out for the first time in court?" Dewar asked.

"...Something isn't right... either the prosecution is stupid (but I fail to believe that the prosecution is stupid to arrest a man without evidence) or the witness is telling lies," Dewar added.

"Ladies and gentlemen," Dewar continue, "it's a matter for you, why is he here?"

The phrase "why is he here?" became a punch line for Dewar in his short and forceful presentation that had jurors hanging on to his every word.

Dewar said that the prosecution had been "throwing out line like a fisherman" in relation to his client and that he brought back the witness to identify a photograph of him and to identify his voice because there was no other evidence.

Dewar, who said that the voice on the video attributed to Williams amounted to no more than three words, noted that the witness' own evidence was that he didn't know Williams "to talk to" and that his client had said that he didn't know the witness.

The lawyer had jurors nodding and smiling in agreement when he said that persons sound alike and asked if they ever answered the phone of a brother, sister or mother and the caller mistook them for the person they intended to reach.

He said no evidence was led that Williams had been at the house in Havendale on August 16, 2011 when Clive 'Lizard' Williams was allegedly beaten to death over the disappearance of two illegal guns.

Dewar completed his address to the jurors paving the way for attorney Tamika Harris to begin her address when the matter resumes this afternoon.

Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer; Shawn Campbell, popularly known as Shawn Storm; André St John; Shane Williams; and Kahira Jones, have been on trial since November 18.

Yesterday, Pierre Rogers, who is representing Jones, concluded his address to the jurors. He said the police acted maliciously in creating a message about chopping up 'Lizard' Williams. "It shows malicious intent on the part of the police," Rogers said. "The police created this with one aim in mind, one aim. This is malicious."

Rogers described what was done in the case by the police as "nastiness" and said that the prosecution had failed to address critical inconsistencies in the case. "If this is not a set-up then what is? If this is not a conspiracy, what is?

"Why is the Crown making castles in the sky and asking you to join him up there?" Rogers told the jurors.

Rogers also told jurors that if they believe the prosecution's main witness wrote a letter to the public defender recanting his statements to the police, then they have to acquit.

In the letter the witness said that the police had forced him to give his statement implicating the accused men and that he had seen Clive Williams after August 16, 2011.

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