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Kern Spencer, co-accused return to court Jan 21

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator ?henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 09, 2013    

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FORMER junior minister Kern Spencer and co-accused Coleen Wright in the Cuban light bulb trial are to return to the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on January 21.

The date was set Monday when the two appeared in court.

The court is awaiting the outcome of an appeal by presiding Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey to continue the long-running trial.

In the appeal, Pusey is challenging a Judicial Review Court ruling that overturned her decision against Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, QC, in the Cuban light bulb trial.

The drama started after Pusey, in 2011, refused to set aside a subpoena she ordered for Llewellyn to give evidence about what transpired during a meeting with former Cuban light bulb co-accused Rodney Chin, which resulted in the charges against him being dropped.

Pusey had also made an order that Llewellyn, who is leading the prosecution of the case, remain 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 Pusey.

The ruling cleared the way for the continuation of the trial. But last April, the trial was again delayed when it was revealed that Pusey intended to appeal the ruling of the Judicial Review Court.

Among the orders sought by Pusey in the appellate court are that the subpoena issued for the DPP to attend and give evidence at the trial as a witness stand and that the DPP recuses herself from the trial until she is called to testify.

Pusey is also seeking costs.

Spencer and Wright are facing corruption, fraud and money-laundering charges over the handling of the Cuban light bulb project in 2008.

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