Court clears way for one of three secret Klansman recordingsThursday, November 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The prosecution after a number of failed attempts was Thursday morning able to get one of three cellphones used to record conversations between alleged members of the Klansman gang , 33 of who are now on trial, entered into evidence.
The gadget is one of three devices that the Crown is counting on as part of the body of evidence in the case against the alleged gangsters.
Several tries to have the transcripts of the recordings entered into evidence were this week blocked on account of objections raised by defence attorneys who argued successfully that the crown had failed to properly establish the chain of custody for the transcripts and as such their integrity was doubted.
In an about face the prosecution changed its strategy to instead call forward several police witnesses to take the stand in order to have the recordings entered into evidence.
Witness number one, a former gang member turned crown witness had testified that he turned over to the police three phones, two of which were given to him by the cops, with recordings of conversations between himself and members of the gang, including alleged leader Andre "Blackman" Bryan. He said he downloaded a call recording app to automatically tape multiple cell phone conversations which were also saved. He forwarded the recordings to cops when the memory became full.
On Thursday morning, only one of the phones was tendered into evidence while the other was marked for identification as the detective who took the stand said he was unable to open the device to retrieve the unique identification number stored inside. He said prior to the trial he had accessed that number by dialing a particular series of digits on the phone which would then produce that number. The prosecution will, based on that, have to use another route to get that particular device tendered into evidence.
In the meantime, the court has started to hear evidence from the police witness now on the stand about a rifle handed over to him by witness number one who had said he collected the gun from the gangsters under the pretext of taking it to get it fixed.