Vybz Kartel murder trial - Voice notes played

The prosecution completed playing all the voice notes, which were tendered into evidence in the Vybz Kartel murder trial, however the exercise was not smooth due to audio problems.

As a result Justice Lennox Campbell issued a directive to the jurors that they should indicate whether they were able to hear and with no objections from the defense attorneys, he  then proceeded to repeat what was heard for the benefit of  the jurors.

The jurors also viewed pictures that were downloaded from mobile phones seized from several of  the accused men.

Meanwhile, concern has been raised by some members of  the legal fraternity about the media coverage of  case.

According to a senior attorney, jurors are not sequestered and are able to hear and see media reports. She said based on this media houses therefore have a responsibility to report factually and clearly.

The view is shared by attorney at law Bert Samuels who said although it could be argued that media reports have little influence on jurors there is still need for caution when reporting on the trial.    

“If the jurors have already heard it, in other words they are not saying anything that was not given in evidence and  which would be an attempt pervert the course of justice.  One of the defense that the press would have is that they would have heard it in its natural form and therefore it is not an attempt to influence them. However one of the things the court wants to  guard against is that the listening public does not have a different view of the trial by how you have dramatized it. So you don’t want the jurors’ verdict to seem unreasonable because what the public has heard and the way they’ve heard it is different from the way it was said in court,” he said.

And, Jenni Campbell, President of  the Press Association of  Jamaica (PAJ) Jenni Campbell agrees that journalists need to be careful in their reporting on the trial, as they may be seen as influencing public view

She says in relaying information on the voice notes, reporters should avoid dramatics.

“Because remember that there is not yet a verdict and we do not want to interpret anything that was said one way or the other . so we have to stick to the objective that would be   to read the support simply as what was said without adding any meaning,” said Campbell.


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