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Vybz Kartel murder trial: Star's lawyer feels judge's wrath

COURTROOM DRAMA: Dancehall star Vybz Kartel's lawyer was threatened with contempt of court after disrupting the judge's summation

THERE WERE fireworks at the murder trial of Vybz Kartel yesterday (March 12) after the judge threatened to cite the dancehall star's lawyer with contempt of court for disrupting his summation.

Judge Lennox Campbell was showing video footage of some men in a house purported to be Kartel's Havendale house in St Andrew, when lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson asked him to see to it that the time stamp was shown on the video. One of the men in the video had a pickaxe and the other had tattoo on his arm.

Tavares-Finson pointed out that the time stamp on the video was 10:43pm and was created after the alleged murder of Jamaican businessman Clive 'Lizard' Williams on August 16, 2011, at the entertainer's house.

Once cautioned, Tavares-Finson promised he wouldn't disrupt the summation any further, but made clear he was requesting he time stamp because the video footage was incomplete without it.

"Please take your seat," the judge ordered, but Finson continued, saying that "it is incomplete without the time stamp."

"I expect much better from you," the judge said, remarking that Tavares-Finson was an experienced lawyer.

"I am well aware of my function and I am aware of your function. All I am saying is if you are showing something to the jury, show all of it, and I say so with the greatest of respect."

Judge Campbell then remarked that he was at his summation for four days. He said he did not know why Tavares-Finson entered the courtroom so late and "don't know why he is disrupting the summation".

"I will have nothing further to say and I am not the only one who attends this court late," Tavares-Finson responded.


Judge Campbell, in issuing a stern warning, said if Tavares-Finson disrupted the summation again, he would have no other option but to take the appropriate course of action to prevent him from doing so.

"I have nothing further to say," Tavares-Finson said, as he left the courtroom for a brief moment.

The time stamp was not shown to the jury, and the judge completed his summation in relation to the witnesses for the prosecution.

The judge also played voice notes for the jury and pointed out that the defence believed the voice was Kartel's, but the voice notes were altered and spliced.

The judge asked the jury to see if they form the view that there was alteration of the words. One of the voice notes played included threats to do harm if the two new 'shoes' (guns) were not returned.

When the trial resumes today (March 13) in the Home Circuit Court, the judge will review the evidence of the defence.

Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer, is charged jointly with entertainer Shawn Campbell, also known as Shawn Storm; Kahira Jones; Shane Williams; and André St John for the murder of Williams, who, the Crown is alleging, was beaten to death at Kartel's house on August 16, 2011.

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