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Vybz kartel trial: Witness says he can’t vouch for integrity of electronic evidence

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

Thursday, January 30, 2014    

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A digital forensic analyst testified in the Vybz Kartel murder trial yesterday that he was unable to vouch for the integrity of information on a disc containing voice notes and videos relating to the alleged killing of Clive 'Lizard' Williams over the disappearance of two illegal guns.

The evidence was given by Constable Kemar Wilks of the police's Cybercrimes Unit under cross-examination from attorney Michael Lorne. Wilks also told attorneys Pierre Rogers and Tamika Harris that the information — critical voice notes and a video — can be manipulated.

Following the luncheon adjournment, Wilks testified in his examination-in-chief that he got the disc from Sergeant Patrick Linton, the former boss of the Cybercrimes Unit, in November of 2011.

The disc contains voice notes threatening to kill Williams and others if two 'shoes' were not returned by the evening of August 14, 2011 and videos of men the prosecution believes were involved in the beating of Williams. The video and voice notes were played on previous days for jurors.

Wilks said he made transcripts of the video and voice notes. The transcripts were entered into evidence, amid objections from the defence, and the one pertaining to the voice notes was read into evidence.

Rogers was the first of the three lawyers to cross-examine Wilks and he wasted no time getting the constable to agree that the video can be manipulated; that he saw no faces in the video; and that "voices" on the recordings can be manipulated.

Up next was Lorne, who asked Wilks if he could vouch for the integrity of the content of the disc he got from Linton. "No, I cannot," he responded.

Lorne had started his examination of Wilks by pointing out to the constable that he noticed that he had difficulty reading his own transcript of the voice notes and that he had problem making out certain words. "Yes, sir," Wilks said.

The attorney took issue with the words "Yow, mek Need Fi Speed and Shawn Storm cut", in the transcript of the video that Wilks made. The attorney said he had watched the video and didn't hear those words, but Wilks said he heard them. Lorne then asked Wilks what he interpreted the words to mean, but the constable said he did no interpretation and that he just wrote what he heard.

Questioned further, Wilks said he had no training in linguistics nor was he trained at university to interpret patois which the men on the video spoke.

Under cross-examination from Harris, Wilks agreed that information from a CD can be copied to the computer and another CD made of the copied information. He also agreed that the information can be changed and altered.

Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer; Shaw 'Shawn Storm' Campbell; Shane Williams; Andre St John; and Kahira Jones have been on trial before Justice Lennox Campbell since last November for Williams' murder on August 16, 2011.

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