Media, public barred from expert testimony during Vybz Kartel’s murder trial

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday December 6, 2013, CMC – The media and members of the public were on Thursday morning barred from hearing the testimony of a cybercrimes expert as the murder trial of dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel entered its 12th day.

The application was made by prosecutor Jeremy Taylor who explained that out of an abundance of caution the public be excused.

His request was also supported by the defense lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson who said while he has no doubt about the integrity of the press, out an abundance of caution, it is better the matter not be heard in public.

When the trial started, former Head of the Communication, Forensic and Cyber Crimes Unit at the Organised Crime Investigation Division of the police force, Detective Sergeant Patrick Linton was called to take the stand.

Linton, who was head of the unit when Kartel and four others were charged with murder, was expected to give evidence on the electronic gadgets seized by the police.

The court was told that his evidence had implications for national security, hence the need to have the courtroom cleared.

Kartel and his four co-accused have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, who the prosecution said was killed at the home of the entertainer on August 18, 2011. His body was never found.

The police allege that Williams was killed after he and another man, who is the prosecution’s main witness, were taken to Kartel’s home to account for a lost firearm.

Police said that they have in their possession video and audio recordings linking all the accused to the murder.

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