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Prosecution suffers setback in light bulb trial

Tuesday, February 25, 2014    

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THE prosecution in the Cuban light bulb trial yesterday suffered a blow to its case when the presiding magistrate threw out an application to enter into evidence several documents recovered from a deleted thumb drive.

"If you don't have it, you don't have it," said Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey in relation to the evidence relevant to having the documents entered into evidence.

Pusey added that the documents could not be entered without evidence as to the creator and storage.

Evidence from Sergeant Patrick Linton is that co-accused Coleen Wright identified the thumb drive as belonging to Kern Spencer, a former junior minister in the energy ministry.

Linton said that a forensic image of the drive was made and that 11,000 deleted documents were recovered from it.

He said that over 7,206 of the documents were successfully exported onto the forensic device he used. Linton, who headed the police's Cybercrime Unit, told the court that he had identified 140 of the files as having evidential value to the case, based on his discussion with the investigator in the matter.

But when prosecutor Tracey-Ann Johnson asked for the documents to be entered into evidence there were objections from Deborah Martin, who is representing Spencer, and Queen's Counsel KD Knight.

Spencer, and his former personal assistant Wright are on trial for alleged money laundering and illicit enrichment arising from the distribution of energy-saving light bulbs — a gift from the Cuban government.

Also yesterday, Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey testified under cross-examination that there was sufficient evidence for charges to be brought against the prosecution's main witness Rodney Chin. Chin was charged along with Spencer and Bailey but the charges were dropped following a meeting on November 19, 2008 which included the director of public prosecution, Chin, his lawyer and Bailey, among others.

— Paul Henry

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