Unjustifiable NHT

Some of the greatest wrongs in this world are not deemed unlawful but are simply unjust and unjustifiable. They leave one with a sense of being violated and left exposed. Perhaps the best I have heard this put in a case against the treatment of workers by the Jamaica Flour Mills is thus – ‘the treatment of the workers showed man’s inhumanity to man’ – this is a case where the action of the Flour Mills was characterized by the Court of Appeal as unjustifiable.

Not all incidents would bring a feeling of this exact kind but the sense of injustice one feels is something very close to that.

In recent years, the National Housing Trust which was set up with a particular statutory mandate to provide housing for the poor has been the entity to which governments go without batting an eyelid as to whether withdrawing funds from it is within its mandate or not.

The first major draw down on the NHT was for $5 billion by P.J. Patterson – who in the face of public outcry said it was a one-off transaction. As I now recall, to regularize that transactions, the NHT Act was amended after the action of Patterson was done.

In 2012 or so, the country was told that the NHT would give up $11 billion yearly for the next 4 years to the government’s treasury so that payments could be made to the IMF. Again, the Simpson-Miller government made the announcement and then attempted to amend the law to reflect that intention. That $44 billion four year drawdown is now subject to a court challenge in the Supreme Court and is to be heard in May, 2015.

This recent purchase of property in Orange Grove by the NHT for purposes yet fully understood as positions change depending on whether one is hearing from the Board Chairman, Easton Douglas or the Prime Minister, has been an understandably contentious transaction.

The Chairman at a press conference in all his defiance says during the 38 year history of the NHT, the line Minister who happens to be the Prime Minister has never been informed about any transaction by the NHT.

Easton Douglas fails to mention and put into proper context all the circumstances that would cause this particulate deal to be different from all others – if indeed no reporting was done in the past:

(a) this is an awful lot of money to be drawn from the trust for purchase of property especially given the two mentioned above;
(b) the current business on the property at Orange Grove falls way outside the scope and mandate of the NHT;
(c) there is not even the slightest resemblance in what the NHT does and what Outameni, which occupied land at Orange Grove, is about;
(d) NHT had information or ought to have information on the projected financial viability of Orange Grove in light of its past dealings;
(e) All previous withdrawals from the NHT where the provision of housing has not been the focus HAVE been contentious – ALL.

That the NHT Board overlooked all of the above and bought the property for $180 million is a breach of their roles as fiduciaries. A fiduciary has a duty to exercise skill and care in its dealings. If the fiduciaries fail as I believe they did, then the Prime Minister as line Minister should not.

HOW HAS THE PRIME MINISTER FAILED HERE:
The Prime Minister has failed in:
(a) Failing to establish frequent and proper briefing by the Board on all matters touching the NHT especially one that had all the designs of being very contentious;
(b) Accepting and delivering to the people of Jamaica a script that made no sense and in which large chunks of it were out of line with previous statements by the Board Chairman;
(c) Having been informed of the improper transaction, the Prime Minister instructed the Board to explore; whether the costly purchase could be used for among other things -tourism venture – a purpose that falls way outside the NHT mandate;
(d) Being presented with a case of breach of duty by Board members at the highest level, she failed to appreciate that there was a breach and therefore failed to act appropriately and remove the Board;

Those actions are akin to the treatment of the workers of the Jamaica Flour Mills years ago – ‘unjustifiable’ – exacerbated because it is the Prime Minister who has failed her wider constituents opting instead to appease her political constituents.

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Dead body pose

September 3

It’s session 2 of my 30 day challenge.

The pain in my shoulder or some areas of my back lingers. I will not be stopped. The rewards I get from Bikram yoga are so great, it will take much more than this pain to stop me. At any rate, it is exactly matters like these I go to Bikram to work on.

I am there. As usual the room is full. There are 39 people rostered for the 30 day challenge. All 39 will compete for the same air – hot air. I am focused on every move. They take a lot of physical strength but greater mental strength is required. Rafa says ‘don’t think just do it’. We comply.

A back pain travels with me – the product of my adding 2 children to the world population. In all my Bikram yoga practice I am focusing on healing my back. When I started Bikram I struggled through some poses because of that pain. I could not move from shavasana (dead body pose) to a straight sit up. I did it my way – like a ripe old lady- but that is the only way I could. Now I can do the sit up with a minor adjustment of the legs – no pain. My hope is that at the end of the 30 day challenge I will be able to do that pose without making any adjustments. Already my back pain is ever so slight.

The practice is hard but it feels great. Sweat oozes from my back and face. Every piece of cloth or clothes on or near me is wet. I replenish with sips of coconut water plus another concoction I made. The poses are harder for me as I go deeper into them. I focus my mind as if I am preparing for the next Olympics. I have heard Rafa several times saying to others who don’t push enough ‘don’t waste your money and come to Bikram if you are not going to push’. I am pushing.

I lie on my back in shavasana and all I see and think about are the blades of the fan spinning above me for that short period of time. My mind is tabla rasa – blank. As I came into this world, so am I when I am in shavasana at Bikram Yoga. I feel I am getting there and I am doing all I can to stay there.

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‘Lock the knee’ – DAY 1

September 2
My first session of the 30 day challenge.

Today I consumed approximately 3 litres of just water to prepare my body for the challenge. I have started taking around with me a full bottle of 1.5 litres of water to ensure that I drink as much as that. I must re-hydrate properly as I lose so much water through sweating in Bikram yoga.

It’s 5:45 PM. I enter the large room at 17 Latham Avenue. The class is full. Approximately 30 people are in a room stretched out in 105 degrees waiting to kill the body so we can live fully again. Some are already sweating a lot. I never enter the room and remain for a long time before the class begins.

I like doing my yoga or general work out in the same place all the time. The slightest change in my position whether in yoga or at the gym can throw me off just a bit. I like my spot.I am territorial – I guess.

My water and coconut water are in place. I take no chances in not drinking enough. The first week of doing Bikram yoga, I had a scare. It was early one Sunday morning, I got up to use the bathroom and was slapped with unbearable vaginal pain followed by faint streaks of blood. The other details need not come here but I ended up in hospital the morning – kidney stones.

I had pushed my body in the heat and not drank enough to replenish my system. My kidneys rebelled and I suffered but – briefly. The doctors theorized that the stones were passed out by me hence the pain. Nothing showed up on the scan. I believe my system was out of sort before I started Bikram. I have interpreted that episode to mean that Bikram yoga will correct a lot that is out of alignment. I now ensure if nothing else goes into my system, water does.

The class is tough but I love the lessons it teaches. Determination, focus and balance. I can’t make a lot of the poses correctly. They take time – listening, breathing, focusing and pushing the body to the limit. Rafa beckons over his headset shouting ‘Emilee, lock the knee, lock the knee, lock the knee…’ ‘Emilee, no backward bending…’ I make the adjustments as best I can and I reap the rewards.

Rafa speaks many languages. His English is very good though he speaks it with a Spanish tilt. Spanish is his mother tongue. He teaches some classes and others are taught by his girlfriend, Kayla. They make a lovely couple I think. Other classes are done by Jamaica’s, Yolande Small.

It’s the end of day one for me. I feel a slight pain somewhere in my back, close to my shoulders but I am not really sure. I will not be daunted. I look forward to day 2. I feel good.

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My 30 day challenge

It’s September 1, 2014 – new beginnings.

My son turns all of 14! He returns to school. I plan to embark on one of the hardest challenges of my life – The 30 Challenge – Bikram Yoga!

Bikram Yoga is intense yoga in equally intense heat for 90 minutes. I am not practising for hell, I have no intentions of going there. I am seeking balance. Bikram Yoga uses 26 poses repeated twice during the 90 minute session to address all ‘maaly gripe and fluxxy complain’ – all ailments.

All my life I have believed in the power of exercise. I sleep better. I eat better and I just feel better when I am fitter. My fittest days are behind me. After 2 lovely children, I do not believe I can still collect a ball from outside the 18 yard box and slot it home. I certainly can’t leap nearly as far as I used to in the long jump pit. Neither can I elevate as high as I used to over the high jump bar.

I am now seeking a mental and physical high – a balance I now don’t have. Run down from the stresses of balancing home and a professional life I need a balance.

A few weeks ago, I pulled up at 17 Latham Avenue, Kingston – Bikram Yoga Jamaica. My sister and friend Paula had told me about this yoga in heat. I stayed up for hours doing some research on this thing…nothing I read prepared me for the challenge. That first day Rafael Veiga – ‘Rafa’ the instructor informed us to focus on just staying in the room for 90 minutes. That we did.

After that one class, I had my best sleep ever and I want to continue having that.

What I know for sure is that 3 weeks after my first class I am here for the 30 day challenge. This means I must do 30 straight sessions of yoga in approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit! If I miss a day, I have the option of catching up by doing the double – one in the morning and the other in the evening.

September 1 – this is the day the challenge official starts. I cannot go. I am choosing to celebrate with my son his big 14 with family at home…I have to double up on the yoga at least one of the days.

Take the challenge with me!

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Part 3 – judge’s summing up-#KartelMurderTrial

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The afternoon session meanders. As the time slowly ticks by it appears the presiding judge in the trial of Vybz Kartel and his four co-accused may be overcome by either the length of the trial or something unknown. As he sums up to the eleven member jury, the summing up lacks structure and form. 

These are my verbatim notes. When I wish to include a note to better explain what is happening in the courtroom, my comments are bracketed.

—-
The evidence of Onika Jackson.
She gave her age as 26. She says she was living together with Clive Lizard Williams for about 3/4 years. She knows he was called Lizard. He had no children. He was a part time worker at NWC where he laid pipes. The important part of her testimony is that she had not heard from Clive Williams from August 16, 2011. She hadn’t heard from him since. And it is important that on that date they were texting.

August 16, 2011 ( the judge never says two thousand eleven or twenty eleven but two zeerio one one) when she was leaving for work he was still asleep. He had to report to Waterford Police Station as he had a gun charge against him.

She said her cell number was 3824835 and his number was 5710021 and those are important because among text messages put into evidence by the prosecution is a series of text from those numbers. She said she had that number for about a year and no one else used it.
Her last text message was about 7:26 PM on the 16th.

She went on to say she knows his friends. She knew Wee and Shawn Storm to talk to and in fact she said she knew Shawn before Clive. Storm is stage name for Campbell.

In identifying Shawn, she said he worked with JUTC then he got a job as DJ. She knew Clive Lizard Williams’ family. She says he had sisters and two brothers. She knew Nadine is also Stephanie Brackenridge.

She said she is familiar with members of Portmore empire otherwise called Gaza family. They go to stage show and perform. Vybz Kartel, Storm, Black Rhino, Chin and some other associates.
(Judge pronounces Black Rhino – Black Reeno- to some laughter in court by those more familiar with the name)
Judge continues almost oblivious to the courtroom chuckle.

She mentions persons by name- Gaza Slim – that name you will recall from the  evidence of Superintendent Thompson to the effect that he received a report on October 29, two zeerio one one.
( judge again emphasizes the H in Thompson)

He received certain reports regarding an alleged case of robbery against Vanessa Saddler otherwise known as Gaza Slim and a suspect Clive Williams was named.

So this person who she identified as part of Gaza family made a report on October 29 that Clive Williams had held her up with a firearm. The important point is the that the officer says he gave instructions for investigations to be conducted and to collect statements from relatives of Clive Williams. Statements were recovered and he having received reports, he continued to look for the body of Clive Williams.

You didn’t hear anything further of this person – a member of the Gaza tribe about any robbery that Lizard would have been involved in subsequent to the 16th of August.

Miss Jackson further mentioned persons she knew. She said she knew VYbz Kartel as Teacha or Daddy. She knew him about a year before. She is 26 and Kartel, Mr. Palmer is 38 years old.

She said they would go to stage show. Up to August, (two zeerio one one) 2011. He laid pipes up to April of that year. Whenever permanent workers were unavailable, he would fill in.

Regarding August 16, she says they communicated by text messages. She was not allowed to use phone at work and she was in communication with Lizzie. But not only …you can well imagine she is 26 yrs old and she said they would communicate everyday and she never communicate with anyone else on the phone attributed to Lizard- 5710021.

She said ‘we would text everyday’. When she got home, he was not there. It’s not unusual for him not to be at home. She went to Rat Town, made inquiries of friends and received no information. No clothing of his was taken. They were all there. She said she was calling his phone again and got voice mail.

She said she never received any communication from him after the 16. She said that was unusual as they had a stable relationship. Despite communication from her through the night, there was no response. This is one of the circumstances the prosecution is putting to you saying he was dead. This lady he lived with and used to communicate everyday with and comes the 16 and no further word.

The Prosecution says when you put it in context of text messages he was sending during course of day, it strengthens, provides evidence of the death of Clive Williams because during course of the day Madam Foreman and  Your Members, ( judge flips through his notes here as if he as lost his train of thoughts. The courtroom waits and the judge then continues)… let me remind you what she said about the text

She told us about him not taking anything at all with him. You may wonder- if he’s going somewhere whether it is reasonable that he would come to retrieve some of his clothing. He took absolutely nothing from the room he shared with his girlfriend.  That room was owned by the accused Palmer.

She told us of efforts through the night to make contact with him which did not succeed. She says she last saw him August 16.
She was asked about Sunday, the 14 because Wee and his friend having received  some information were scared and frightened. The very next witness will say the condition.

His girlfriend says he was a bit worried from night before. She says normally he would go on the ends and that night he stayed in and he was not sick. She said she had not seen him back since the night. She spoke to Inspector Thomas and gave a statement and continued to make calls.

She was cross examined by Mr. Finson and she said she knew Stephanie Brackenridge. She says she spoke with his brother in law and confirmed that he was reporting at Waterford Police Station. The significance of this is that he may very well have absconded bail. She said there were occasions when she went to look at dead bodies. Remember DSP Thompson said she took her and Mrs. Brackenridge several times with a view to locating body of Clive Williams.

She was also cross examined by Mr. Lorne. She said she gave several statements to the Police. One was given on September 6. She describes Mr Campbell as a good friend of Clive Williams. She describes Mr. Campbell as a good friend of Clive Williams
( I am not sure why the judge repeated the last sentence. Was it for emphasis or catching his thoughts)
She knows that he worked at JUTC. This line says they are very good friends so why would he put him in harm’s way as the prosecution is contending.

The Prosecution says Storm is total betrayal as he took both men to Havendale knowing what the plan was that Palmer had instituted. So it’s a matter for you. On one hand the girlfriend says they were good friends. I had good relationship with Mr. Campbell in witness box.

Next witness
Stephanie Brackenridge.
Regarding the text messages Madam Foreman and your members, I will deal with those at a later time.

(Judge knocks his bench in an attempt to beckon to the registrar who sits immediately in front of his but lower down so that the judge cannot see him.  Knocking the bench is how the judge gets the registrar’s attention. The knock fails and the judge calls out for the Registrar. The registrar’s seat is empty.  The judge says he needs the list of text messages. It’s 2:40PM – there’s a brief pause then judge continues without the registrar)

The – I told you that Miss Jackson indicated they were texting each other through the day on the 16.
6:53PM message to Oneika – ‘baby, Teacha sen call me’ – prosecution says this is the summons.
Teacha as you very well think – the Witness says she calls the accused Palmer, Teacha. What she says is -‘What are you going to do babes’

Tom Tavares Finson rises with a quizzical look on his face and addresses the judge
Finson – ‘ my Lord, sorry to interrupt but – none of those were put the witness’
Judge – (says irritably) ‘Mr. Finson’

(Interruptions by attorney of a judge’s summing up are rear and should be done sparingly. Lawyers do so if and only if the judge is misquoting the evidence.Tavares Finson sits and the judge then justifies his use of text messages not put to the witness Onika Jackosn)

You recall that 3824835 was her number and her boyfriend’s was 5710021 and she’s known him to have that phone for about a year. The text I am reading to you is from the number she claims is her number to the number of her boyfriend, Clive Williams ( judge repeats the content of the text message)

6:50 he says ‘I am really scared baby pls call the police you have to save me’.

Now when you sit there use your common sense – one of the instruments you are supposed to use. Is this something he is making up or the urgency of the situation is forcing him to tell truth as it is unfolding.

Message from Onika is asking ‘just you alone’
Clive Williams says – ‘please call police for me. You have to do it now’

What does he consider to be so urgent. But you have to remember this man is no saint. He has been charged. He’s reporting to police. He has been with this family for some time. He lost a gun and this is his reaction. This is what he anticipates is going to happen.

‘Tell dem Vybz Kartel ago kill me pls Baby’.

Look at what is unfolding and ask is he making it up or is the stress of the situation bringing that out- because he knows the family. He knows what happens in those  situations

7:09 – ‘you haffi hurry up’
7:11 – ‘Shawn can’t save we. We in Needfa car a go up there’

The Shawn mentioned in the text, is this the accused Campbell? You recall evidence before you that this is a taxi that Campbell uses. This trip Campbell was in front and Chow and Clive Williams are in the back. Also recall Chow says whilst he was in Needfa car, he saw Lizard texting on his phone. His girlfriend’s response after he says ‘tell Nadine to call police and Ridge fast fast’. Ridge is the husband of his sister.

 So even beyond his girlfriend he’s extending call for help to his relatives.
7:16 – baby please call me now a Havendale. Pls pls tell dem fi look fi Neefa car
7:18 – mi deh a Red Hills road a go up
7:18 from Onika to Clive Williams – ok baby I am praying for you
7:20
7:26 – I can’t concentrate right now. Just be cool and call to G. (Name given by witness to Palmer)
7:28 Clive Williams says please hurry up we soon reach babes
7:37 Onika says – baby I am shaking so bad I am nervous. Geof just catch me on my phone but I don’t care although him going to kill me.

There were no other messages recorded from Mr. Williams.

As I told you, it is for you to decide what these messages mean and to ensure the witnesses weren’t mistaken in what they said. Also you must be certain that Clive Williams did not concoct these messages.

You heard the Defence case that evidence was concocted and motivated by ill will or malice and certain actions of police are product of conspiracy. Bear that in mind as you look at these text messages from Clive Williams being driven in Needfa car where Chow said they were pressured to go.

What did he mean by ‘tell dem say Vybz Kartel a go kill me’
Vybz Kartel was someone he knew before. This is someone who had to report to police and here is is pleading for relatives to get police. It is for you to say whether  they are consistent with the prosecution case that Clive Williams is dead.

The next witness I will look at is Stephanie Bradckenridge – sister of Clive Williams.
In August Two zeerio one one (2011) she was living in St Catherine, Waterford. She is also called Nadine. She lives with younger siblings her children and husband Samuel otherwise called Ridge. Clive is a younger brother.

She recalls Sunday August 14, 2011 as the last night she saw Clive. He lived with his girlfriend Onika who had a daughter which is not Lizard’s. She says he worked at NWC. She knows Lamar Chow.  Shawn Storm and he was friend with Kartel. She also knew Shawn Williams.

This is the sister of Clive Williams. She said she knew Shawn Williams. If he and Clive Williams were up and about together could he

(Prosecutor Taylor rises as the judge is once again in need of correction)
Taylor – excuse me My lord, is Shawn Campbell and not Williams.

Judge – ahhhmmm….what is your note last note there Mr. Palmer asks the judge of the learned senior deputy director of public prosecutions whose name is Jeremy TAYLOR.

(Needless to say, the courtroom chuckles – jurors are seen laughing almost in amazement.  The judge continues seamlessly)

Learned senior deputy is right. There are…( inaudible)

She is reciting friends she knows. Says he works at NWC. She knows Lamar Chow otherwise called Wee and he was friends with Palmer otherwise called Kartel. She would see Storm and Palmer from time to time. She told you that she saw a music video in which Storm was there. Lizard was portrayed as one of the guys on the corner. I think it was portrayed to show familiarly.

She said Clive Williams danced a lot and that is how he got the nickname.
You recall her reaction. She broke down. I told you before, you cannot be swayed by sentiments.

Lizard would visit her house and take care of younger siblings and she would see him often as he lived close by and they talk often. The prosecution says here’s a man who had good relation with his sister-  Not a lot of quarrel. In those circumstances would you expect that he would abscond and make no contact with her?

She says she spoke with him by telephone 5710021. She supports Onika regrading the number.

She last saw him between 1-2 in afternoon August 14. She was in the bathroom when he came. She heard a loud commotion and banging on the door. She was frightened. Saw Clive Williams and he crunched down by a sofa – white and sweating like they were seeing ghosts.
That was on the 14.

You heard the text to those. Does it support what is in the text. The fact that on the 16 were these messages to his girlfriend soliciting her help. On 14 August this is what his sister is recounting. She sees the men in her house. She says they were falling down like their knees could not hold up. Did that happen or was she making it up.

You saw her. Was she evasive or trying to deceive when she recounted what she saw in the living room of her house. She said they looked frightened and scared. Now the context that this frighten and scare has to be placed in are some voice notes – I will play for you tomorrow of the accused Palmer and what he said in relation to the person who lose the gun.

Remember I gave you an order starting with the plan. What Palmer said would happen. The Defence says the police force conspired against all of them. This is a canon piracy. I don’t know if it extends as far as the honorable Minister Peter Bunting but he is certainly one of the persons whose names was called. There is no denying that the voice is the voice of a Palmer but the voice has been spliced and interwoven. That is the context that the sis of Clive Williams is testifying about. Is she trying to deceive you, is she evasive or is she part of the concoction. That’s a matter for you.

She says after she saw them in the house she gave them instructions and drove them to the mall and returned home. She left them there and that was the last time I had seen him. She spoke to him after- On the 16, Tuesday morning. She called him on the phone. She didn’t speak to him again. She made efforts Tuesday night but got voice mail – Several Several times.

She went to the Police Station to report him missing. It was not normal for him not to make contact up to that point (repeat). The Prosecution says this is another instance that points in one direction and one direction only that Clive Williams is dead.

On way to the police station she was still making efforts to call. Shawn lives a few feet away. There is a studio in the area and they would come. She doesn’t know where Shawn and the others lived. She just see them together. She doesn’t know where Kiro lived. Up to August 2011 she had lived there about 10 yrs.

She was cross examined longer than Onika. Mr Finson asked about the incident on 14. She said that when she took them to the mall, her intention was for them to leave Waterford. She was not aware they were still in Waterford. They returned according to the evidence of Chow. Asked by Mr. Finson about the other side of her brother, she said she knew he was charged with illegal possession of firearm. He was also charged with possession of and shooting with intend. She said she was aware.

On the 18 she gave police a statement. She was asked about the contents and whether she mentioned the events she told the court about. Police came and took another statement. She gave the first statement a week after her brother went missing at police headquarters. She doesn’t recall where or to whom.

Mr Lorne also cross examined her and his direction was that in fact her brother and Campbell were close. She admitted that Shawn encouraged him to take out a passport. Shawn wanted to make him into bigger act than he was.
This would cause you to ask why would Shawn Campbell having taken efforts to get passport for him, why then deliver them as the Crown is saying knowing that they were going to be seriously injured.

She said she got instructions from brother and as a result she left the community.  Said she didn’t mention that she was afraid in the statement to Waterford police. She had instructed her brother to leave the community and gave him $3000 to do so.

The next witness is Constable Avril Thomas
She is a Forensic Crime Scene Investigator. She received training in 2005 and has been working as a crime scene investigator since 2005.

(Constable Avril Thompson is not a woman. He appeared in court as a man. No sex change or gender re-alignment surgery has been reported since)

August 22 at about 11 while on duty at the task force office she received instructions from her supervisor. She set off with a digital camera and other equipment – took pictures of the area. She noticed on arrival that there was a house with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and car port – started investigation. She made sketches of the scene and made several observations.

She gave a description of the property – estimated height of wall and gate -that was  given as 8 ft. She entered the yard and on entering noted trees. She walked around the yard and made several observations. The gate was closed and it is gate you cannot see through. It is a gate that slides. She entered the carport through a grill work and noticed that floors had been wiped.

There is a verandah attached to the carport which was also wiped clean. The horizontal walls of house were also wiped. The Prosecution leading this is saying this is another chain in the circumstances that leads to one conclusion and one conclusion only. In this house where several things were noted – Some of rooms described as being in a dirty condition but certain areas wiped clean. You may ask what was the purpose of the that. Why were walls and flooring wiped clean.

Small dry spots on the inside that resembled blood were observed.
The living room – floor was wiped and painted and appeared to be empty.
There was a small white fridge and a microwave with shelves. Chow says he was aware that 2 persons live there. None of the accused say they live there. Chow says Andre st John and Shane Williams lives there.

Shane Williams says he doesn’t live there and he’s not known as Terrence.

There was a a small standing bathroom that was in a very dirty condition. It begs the question if the bathroom is so dirty how comes this cleanliness regarding the floor.

(The registrar slips a note to the judge)

Madam Foreman and your members, I am still on the evidence of this investigator.

(Perhaps the note to the judge by the registrar caused the judge to end making reference to Avril Thomas as ‘she’ and ‘her’ and to ‘this investigator’)

(It’s 3:30PM. Court sessions normally ends at 4PM or thereabouts. Presiding Judge Lennox Campbell adjourns the sitting at 3:30 with his usual word to the jurors)

All that remains is my summation to continue. Please do not discuss this case with anyone outside your numbers. Please step down.

(More to come)

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Judge’s summing up – Part 2 – #KartelMurderTrial

Court resumes from it mid morning break. Justice Lennox Campbell continues his summing up the jury to a packed courtroom. Here are my verbatim notes

—–

Madam foreman and your members, I will pick up here -

Note that a forensic fire expert Miss Sharon Brydson has testified that in her view a fire at Mr. Palmer’s house was deliberately set.
Also note that the defence put before you that the letter written on Nov 13, 2013 was written by Clive Lizard Williams.

(Here the judge misquotes the evidence prompting the prosecutor Jeremy Taylor to rise)

Taylor: My Lord the evidence is that it was Mr. Chow’s handwriting.
(Defence attorney Tom Tavares Finson chimes in in a sotto voce remark to Taylor)
Tavares Finson: you a interrupt di Judge now? Ok!

(Justice Campbell corrects himself in what will be one of a couple mistakes well in his summing up. Some of the jurors find this hilarious and laugh heartily)

Justice Campbell continues.
Yes it was written by Chow. The letter is to be considered circumstantial. Note that circumstantial evidence can be used to mislead also it is said such evidence can be considered the best evidence.

The next thing the prosecution must prove is that it is the accused men who killed Clive Lizard Williams. What the prosecution has said is that the men were acting together. You note the texts where he said Mr. Palmer was upset about the missing shoes. In voice note 2 he said ‘if dem want dem fren fi live dem fi return mi shoes’. As I indicated he was accorded tremendous amount of respect among the grouping.

It is clear that Mr. Palmer passes messages through Mr. Chow and Mr. Campbell. And that he has some authority. That he determines where the shoes will go and how the miscreants should be disciplined. We will look at voicenote 7 where he said he wanted Mad Dawg to page somebody because a Mad Dawg a govern di programme. You will have to determine what those words mean.

On the Prosecution’s case Kiro Jones held Lizard from behind and St. John was seen with a building block. Note that video was shown by the prosecution where later that night men were heard planning to kill.

What is the defence’s case?

Mr. Palmer has said he has never seen Lizard at Swallowfield Avenue and that he’s innocent. St. John has said he’s only here because he’s associated with Mr. Palmer. He does not know of any block or plot or plan. Shawn Campbell has said he’s not aware of any plan, Shane Williams has said he does not even know why he is here while Kahira Jones has said Chow and the Police plan up to bring down Kartel and his friends.

Mr. Palmer has NOT denied that the voice in the voice note is not his.

PRESENCE
Madam foreman and your members – If looking at the case you hear that someone was present and intended to commit the offence or if they took part then by their mere presence and they were close enough and facilitated the act then they should be found guilty.

TIME
Regarding the discrepancies in time pointed out by the defence – (finger fail here)

Madam foreman and your members -note that in most criminal trials it is always possible to find variations in a witnesses testimony. It may be slight and it may be serious. If it is slight it does not affect the credibility of the witness.

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It is now 1PM. The court proceedings did not get off on time this morning- but this is not unusual. 10AM is the official start time for court. Here the time is more honoured in the breach. The court breaks now for lunch for one hour. The judge is to continue at 2PM – after lunch. Part 3 then.

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Judge’s summing up – #KartelMurderTrial

Madam foreman and your members you have heard all the evidence in this case since November.

You have heard 24 witnesses for the prosecution and in my estimation four for the defence.

We have had frequent adjournments. You have heard 6 closing addresses from Counsel at the bar.

It is now my duty to sum up the evidence to tell you what the law is and assist you in coming to your verdict.

Madam foreman and your members you will recall at the beginning of these proceedings you all took an oath, some took an affirmation – and remember that is of great significance. It should not be treated lightly.

Madam foreman and your members you should not let your verdict be affected by extraneous or external circumstances. Recall the trial was widely covered by the media. I cannot assume that you all were insulated from all the coverage. But recall your oath and remember that because of that oath you cannot take into consideration external matters.

A great Roman jurist once said justice is a great and constant purpose that should give each and every man his due. I urge upon you Madam Foreman and your members that you should be devoted to doing justice according to law, nothing else.

The accused are before this Court charged on an indictment for one count. They are charged as Adidja Palmer, Calvin ..o he’s no longer here, Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones, Shane Williams, and Aundre St. John ..accused of murder. They are accused of murdering Clive Williams.

Let me just put in a nutshell the two cases.

The prosecution’s case is that two guns, or as they call it shoes, were given to Llamar Chow and Clive Williams to hide or to lock. The prosecution have led evidence suggesting that Palmer instituted a deadline for the return of the guns that had gone missing. On the 16th of August, Shawn Campbell pressured Clive Williams and Chow to the registered home of Palmer. The other accused men were at home when Chow and Williams arrived. Williams was attacked, Chow ran and when he returned he saw Williams’ lifeless body. Chow fled the yard but was pursued by Palmer. Palmer re-assured Chow that he had nothing to worry about. Chow then followed Palmer to the hospital. Chow was invited to follow Palmer to Guyana in order to avoid questioning by law enforcement. An odour smelling like a dead animal was subsequently detected at Mr. Palmer’s Havendale home.

No one has seen or heard from Clive Lizard Williams since the day he was seen by Chow lying motionless on his back. The Prosecution says there is strong electronic evidence pointing to the guilt of the accused.

That is the prosecutions case.

The defence are saying that the men are not guilty of murdering Williams if in fact he’s dead. In fact there is a letter from Chow saying Williams was seen alive after August 16, 2010. That Williams never went to Palmer’s home but in fact departed the motor vehicle at a hotel in Havendale. That mobile data produced by the prosecution placed the accused at a separate location when the crime was said to have taken place.

They, the defence have alleged a conspiracy on the part of the Police to implicate Palmer. Tthey have alleged that Palmer’s case was prejudiced by the National Security Minister who blamed him for crimes in Jamaica. The defence have said Chow was part of a concoction.

The main issue for you jurors is to determine if Clive Lizard Williams is dead. If the answer is he is not or you are not sure then that’s the end of the matter you must acquit, because the prosecution have not been able to find a central piece of the indictment. Because in most of the cases before the Courts the prosecution are required to state a cause of death and lead evidence detailing a body being put into the earth. That has not been done by the prosecution. No evidence has been led stating that the dead body of Williams was seen.

However as you may be aware not all cases is it possible to bring such evidence. The fact of death may be proved by what is called circumstantial evidence. That is madam foreman and your members evidence that leads to one conclusion and one only. And before you can draw a conclusion that Clive Lizard Williams is dead all the evidence provided by the prosecution must lead to one conclusion – that Clive Williams is dead.

In the absence of a body death can be proved by circumstantial evidence that renders the conclusion of death. The evidence must be so cogent and compelling and above reasonable doubt that it leads to the conclusion that Lizard Williams is dead. If you have any doubt about him being dead, then you must acquit.

Recall there is a letter that an expert said was written by Mr. Llamar Chow. We are going to be looking very closely at that. Recall that the evidence states that the author of that letter said Williams was seen alive after August 16, 2010. Note that the prosecution are saying Clive Williams died a year after that.

If you are sure Williams is dead, you must then be sure that the evidence points in one direction – that the accused men killed Clive Williams. And I tell you madam foreman and your members, in a matter such as this persons may play different parts in an alleged murder but if they are found to have been part of one common purpose, that is to kill, they should be held accountable for the murder.

When you hear about a Common Design, there needs be no formality. Such a plan may be inferred, it could be spur of the moment that can constitute a plan, no official agreement is necessary. To find all guilty you have to be convinced that all played some party, whether large or small, in a plan which had one intent, to kill.

I must tell you Madam foreman and your members you and I are Judges who try this case. I should tell you we have slightly separate functions though and we should not usurp and take over each others functions. It is my duty to interpret the law. You cannot say ‘bwoi my fren di lawyer seems like him know di law better than this Judge’. I am considered supreme regarding interpretation of the law here and you must take that interpretation from me.

In the same way I am supreme regarding the law, you are considered supreme considering the facts. If you think I wrongly stated the facts according to what you hear, I  think it is Miss Harris who said you can toss it aside (* Judge Campbell has a wry grin hee*) ..she is correct, if I incorrectly stated the facts you can toss it aside.

You have seen the witnesses, you have heard them, you have observed them, it is for you madam foreman and your members to make up your minds regarding what you make of them, whether they spoke the truth. However you are not entitled to abandon the evidence and come up with a theory and make up a theory not based on the evidence and make a decision in that regard. Your supremacy concerning the facts, does not entitle you to make up a theory. You are bound by the evidence alone, you must not allow yourself to be taken unto a path of speculation.

Look at the evidence, look to the evidence alone, not some speculation, not some conjecture. The evidence must be your yardstick by which you Judge this case. You must analyze the witnesses and by witnesses I mean those called by the prosecution and defence. You madam foreman and your members must not allow sympathy to determine your verdict. You must approach the evidence calmly and dispassionately. You cannot have sympathy for Williams or the accused and to ground your verdict on that basis. That would be improper.

You live in a society that is violent from Negril point to Morant Point. And because these men are charged with a violent crime you cannot use the fact of the society we exist in against them. You cannot use the fact that guns are mentioned in this case to prejudice this case and be the basis where you formulate your verdict. I cannot implore you more strongly to not allow feelings of sympathy to influence your verdict. There is no basis in law for a verdict to be influenced by sympathy.

In this case you heard mention of the tragic death of a girlfriend, of a child that needs taking case of, you may recall the tears of Mr. Clive Williams’ sister. Do not let that influence you. You heard mention of guns being given for being locked. Do not use that to arrive at a verdict. Their morals are not on trial. You are not to use that as a basis to determine that the accused are responsible for crime in Jamaica. You must look at the totality of the evidence related to – were they responsible for taking Clive Lizard Williams’ life.

You are entitled madam foreman and your members to take into consideration the demeanor of the witnesses. You may bear in mind how they acted. Particularly under cross examination. You may take into account the relationship between witnesses and their intelligence. In regard to this using common sense and your knowledge of Jamaicans you will eventually be required to come to a finding whether you regard the witnesses as witnesses of truth.

Madam foreman and your members you are well equipped to come to a verdict. You don’t need to be dressed up in a lawyers garb. Don’t say because you are acting as judges here you are to discard your common sense. That’s the most important ingredient here.

I must remind you of two principles in law.

1  – being an accused man is innocent until prove guilty and it is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove guilt. An accused man does not have to prove his evidence.

ON the prosecution’s case madam foreman and your members – there was a common design. They have outlined using voice notes and messages that Mr. Adidja Palmer was upset because two of his guns had gone missing. You heard a voicenote saying – ‘im an im mumma ago ded’ (Judge Campbell mimicks voicenotes).

Secondly the prosecution are saying that Shawn Campbell knew what would transpire by virtue of a text message he sent saying people ago dead. Recall that Campbell on the prosecution’s case had persuaded Mr. Chow and Mr. Williams to Kartel’s home.

Recall Mr. Chow’s evidence that when they, he and Lizard arrived at Kartel’s home. ( *JPS cuts power supply here ..mic stops working ..Judge Campbell continues as if nothing happened* ) Recall Madam foreman and your members that Mr. Chow said he saw a girl at Kartel’s home on August 16, 2011. I suppose he’s a celebrity of sort, so people will always be following him.

If you accept Chow’s evidence – Lizard was not sick last he saw him on August 14, 2011. He went in on his own speed to Kartel’s home and if you accept what Chow said – he was later seen motionless, lying on his back. The Prosecution are relying on testimony from Chow that St. John was seen with a block and Jones had grabbed Lizard from behind.

The next item the prosecution is relying on is the video. The video that Superintendent Thompson (Judge Campbell emphasizes the H) said was the House he visited where he felt a foul odour.

The prosecution are also relying on a message which they have alleged was sent by Mr. Palmer stating that dem cyaa find Lizard. Recall that there was an urgency in messages it was said was sent by Mr. Palmer regarding guns, that urgency according to the evidence led up to the 16th of August 2011. The prosecution r relying on evidence that that urgency disappeared after the 16th.
Recall also that Mr. Williams’ sister has testified that they were close but she has not seen or heard from him since that date and they were in no malice.

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More to come

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