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Juror arrested after bribery attempt

Friday, March 14, 2014    

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A male juror who allegedly attempted to offer a bribe to the foreman of the jury in the just-concluded Vybz Kartel murder trial was arrested minutes after the trial ended yesterday.

The number three juror is now facing a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The afternoon session of the trial was held up for close to an hour in the High Court yesterday after Justice Lennox Campbell summoned the prosecution and the defence to his chambers.

"I am going to need the assistance of both sides in my chambers," Justice Campbell said before leaving the courtroom.

While the meeting was underway, whispers echoed around the court corridors of the bribery attempt. Sources at the court revealed that word had reached Justice Campbell that the juror had approached the foreman of the jury and offered her close to $500,000 to return a not guilty verdict. His offer was rejected and a report was filed. When the jury returned from the jury room to announce the verdict, the accused juror could be seen acting nervously and breathed heavily before taking his seat.

While the verdicts were being read out, the juror held his head to one side and appeared extremely uncomfortable.

After Justice Campbell thanked the jury for their service, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn rose and was about to indicate that charges were about to be laid against the offending juror, but was stopped in her tracks by the judge.

As the jurors retired to the jury room, a group of cops stood by the door waiting to pounce. The juror was arrested soon after those in attendance at the trial began to clear the courtroom and corridors.

He can be fined or locked up for the offence.

— Karyl Walker

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