Defence attorney, prosecutor clash at Petrojam fraud trial
Combination of photos showing defence attorney in the Petrojam fraud trial Bert Samuels and lead prosecutor Caroline Hay.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – There was a brief war of words between lead prosecutor Caroline Hay and defence attorney Bert Samuels in the Petrojam fraud trial on Wednesday.

The war of words, which included threats of possible action from the General Legal Council (GLC), was sparked after witness Hillary Alexander delayed in answering certain questions from Queen's Counsel KD Knight who was cross examining her at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Alexander was trying to answer the questions in her own way when the prosecutor offered some help with the question.

Samuels, who is representing former Petrojam chairman Perceval Singh, stood up in anger and accused the prosecutor of prompting what the witness told the court.

Samuels was heading to the back of the court room when parish Court Judge Maxine Ellis cautioned him

The prosecutor used that moment as an opportunity to complain to the judge that Samuels had been unkind to her since the start of the trial. The judge said that she would not be addressing that issue but was more interested in having Samuels understand that he should wait his turn if he wished to speak.

Samuels was heard telling the prosecutor that she should not shout at him, followed by threats that he will file a complaint with the GLC regarding the perceived attempt to tell the witness what to say

Knight also told the prosecutor to sit down and remain seated after she stood raising an objection to a question from him.

The prosecutor at one point told the court she could not understand the question posed to the witness by Knight. But the Queen's Counsel again told her to sit, as it was not her duty to understand his questions during cross-examination but for the witness to answer to exactly what she was asked.

JASON CROSS , Observer staff reporter, crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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