These are my verbatim notes, as I able to capture, of the closing speech of Kartel’s attorney, Tom Tavares Finson. Kartel having called witnesses to give evidence on his behalf is the first to make a closing address to the jury. The address of the legal team for Kartel is followed by the address of the prosecutor, Jeremy Taylor. There are no pauses by the lawyers for notes to be taken. Lawyers speech freely and my fingers struggle to keep up. If a sentence doesn’t make sense, it may be my error.
This has been a long case. We are at a stage now as Your Lordship has been telling you the case is winding now. Now as counsel for Adidja Palmer, I will address you.
It’s 11:15 now. You have sat there so long and listened to so much and some of you leave your business unattended. I will take no more than 1 hour to address you and I proceed by telling you this.
(Tavares Finson asks the registrar here for the Indictment on his which the accused are charged).
These persons including Adidja Palmer charged on an indictment that says they, on or about August 16, 2011 murdered Clive Williams. The prosecution called a number of witness.
When this case started and came before the number 2 courtroom here at the Supreme Court, it came to you masquerading in the authoritative robe of the DPP. The prosecutor said to you, dressed in noble robes of constitution of Jamaica, listen to them and believe them as they are witnesses of truth. Listen as their evidence in this case is true. You can trust us. You can trust what we say. And they brought evidence.
On face of it they say you can trust us but through cross examination we have ripped those robes to shreds. We have ripped those robes SHRED BY SHRED leaving the prosecution case naked and exposed as a conspiratorial lie. We have ripped those robes SHRED BY SHRED by SHRED leaving the prosecution case naked and exposed as a CONSPIRATORIAL LIE.
(Tavares Finson uses variation of tone to cause eyes to be glued to him).
Dressed in fact in incompetence and who cannot say that it is not incompetence that is not the hallmarks of this case!
Let’s look at the prosecution case- What is it they have lost.
They cannot even find the original statement of witnesses before this court. The respected SSP Ford – Bigga whom we all love, cannot find its book. They lost CD, JS 1! And you are faced with the unfortunate situation of having to judge a case faced with their dishonesty and incompetence.
The truth of matter – the prosecution case is crippled by so many internal contradictions that I don’t where you would start in your deliberations. If I say anything which is not correct, the judge will stop me.
Listen to the evidence for the prosecution:
- Chow said he arrived 7 Swallofield Avenue between 5 and 5:30PM;
- On the prosecution evidence based on telephone data that put him in Portmore at that time;
- The alleged deceased man is now in Portmore;
- 7:20 PM Clive Williams phone is showing up in Meadow lands;
- 7:20 PM Adidja Palmer is already at Andrews. Hospital! You saw a photograph of Mr. Palmer’s leg in Andrews hospital.
– At the time the dog bite his leg and he’s been treated the alleged deceased is in Portmore.
7:08PM when Mr. Palmer is at Andrews hospital, Williams is still in Portmore.
The BB message that says -’we chop him up …’ – that message was created 3 HOURS after the telephone was in the custody of police. When the prosecution says to you, the Defence is talking and they have not proved anything was done with the material. We don’t have to prove anything! But we did
Linton agreed with a question from Rogers that the message that said ‘ we chop him up…’ was created 3 HOURS after the phone was in police custody.
Dem play a video that don’t show nobody face and there is some people talking 2-3 words used to implicate Mr. Palmer.
What’s the significant about this video is that it was created 10:53PM on the 16th August 2011, after Mr. Palmer get dog bite and Chow gone bout him business.
It is because we as Defence had capacity to probe why those things are before you. If we never had our experts we wouldn’t be able to do so.
Our expert was ARRESTED by one of the witness here and the DPP came here and said ‘oh he was not arrested he was asked to come down’ (Finson takes on his best Paula Llewellyn impression as he mimics the DPP’s voice…then continues) and we live in Jamaica! So if he wasn’t arrested, why was he picked up?
Left to another case, that evidence would never have been exposed. When evidence was being given by Mr. Linton, Your. Lordship said to us ‘listen the tutorial’ I agree! It could have been videoed and sent to Damascus, Canada and all the places he trained on how not to do something! (Tavares Finson’s voice now occupies every molecule of air in the courtroom at it is raised in anger)
( Tavares Finson climbs down from anger to a calmer persona and continues)
A lot sit on my mind. During this case before us before the case done is SSP Ford who all of us love came and told us ‘since evidence exposed, JCF put new rules into place how to deal with telephones! We soon get back to that …
Next thing -that line from Linton ‘when I say off I mean on’. Imagine you left your house and tell your husband to tun off the stove and him leave it on and when you go back di whole place bun down cos ‘when I say off I mean on’.
You see the jury system we operate in Jamaica, the law says in certain cases one is entitled to trial by a jury of his peers – you are not executives from banking, tourism in this case. You know how Jamaica set so when the DPP comes here and says he was just asked, you know how that go! And when man come here and say off mean on – you know is rubbish.
We no care how you look. We don’t care if your wear a football shirt come in here. Common sense is all we ask you to apply in this case.
Fortunately or not you will here some of the same things from my colleagues so I have to tell you some things. The prosecution brought the case and they have to prove it point by point.
Whether it is about the integrity of the telephone evidence, voice recordings or bb messages, I could have come here and said not a word!
When the prosecution tell you and he’s going to tell you as day follows night- that he didn’t prove text messages were interfered with – I never had to! But I did. I established that they were interfered with and manipulated. It’s their responsibility and they have failed through incompetence motivated by malice!
They have to convince you so that you feel sure – beyond a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the five persons and they brought evidence to put before you. Bear in mind, I will not go through very witness.
First they brought Chow – you need to consider and it’s fresh in my mind – the Defence is saying Chow write the letter and took it to the Public Defender and in that letter he made certain allegations. He said :
- police came for him by brute force; and
- he has seen Clive Williams since
If you accept what retired SSP Major says that is Chow write it, then that affects all of his evidence.
Why would he tell you him don’t write it?
Major said he had the original document and 32 signatures and he said Chow write it. Yes the signature on document to Public Defender look different but when you look at his September 9 statement you will see overwriting there.
I am Carl Mingo Major and I have been working for 35 years with the government. On his evidence a police man was convicted for murder – and sentenced to 45 years without parole. This happened in November 2013 and the have the audacity to question his findings!!!
Mr. Taylor asked Major how come you had no original signature?
Why no original signature – is photocopy we use because the prosecution lose the original and then turn around and blame Major because he didn’t look at the original
(Tavares Finson laughs to and with himself and with all as if to say this is ridiculous to a fault – laugh).
Major said he didn’t have the original document and you heard today that they had the original signature since December of 2013 and is yesterday afternoon they give it to me! And is my fault.
Major said to you ‘a man on a galloping horse would a mek out The handwriting’ – 33 signatures them have. If they had problem with Major, they would have brought someone here. They had not one but two handwriting experts!
In Jamaica, Major is the handwriting expert. Children at Norman Manley Law School read bout major. Them could a bring man all from foreign. Dem have 2 report and them nuh bring it but then tek set pon Major fi 3 days. One a di time when him come out a di witness box him blow!
Major say a Chow write di letter and no matter how much Taylor huff and puff Major stick to his findings.
Prosecution say how much signature you have? Is 32!
Chow says he arrived at Swallowfield 5-5:30. Prosecution evidence is at that time the alleged deceased never leave Portmore yet. How can prosecution explain that to you as thinking Jamaicans?
Chow says he goes to di house and sees men hold on to Lizard, him fear for him life and him run….no no run, fly ova di gate – I not taking any issue with that cos dem say when trouble tek you pickney shut fit you…
But, the same man weh plan fi kill him and him put man in a taxi and tek him to hospital. From Swallowfield Avenue to Mannings Hill Rd. Pitbull a nuh lickle mawga dawg. Pitbull- Everyday you day in a di paper you read bout pitbull a nyam up people. Him don’t jump out at Mary Brown corner you know…don’t leap out at Grants Pen Police Station. Him stay til him reach Andrews hospital. Him sign in the man who plan fi kill him at the hospital.
The photograph that they show you puts Palmer at hospital at 7:08 – the first one with a small bandage
The later picture is with a more impressive bandage.
The same man now in hospital with doctor and I was sitting here expecting to hear him seh him run gone over Devon house . Hi stay deh and the taxi is there. This doesn’t spell sense!
Him follow man all up a pharmacy fi get tablet and drop man to guest house and tek same taxi gone a Portmore.
(A juror in the front row yawns Tavares Finson says – no, don’t yawn – to a courtroom chuckle)
It is because that story is so challenging why they rely on technical evidence.
This is a benchmark case – nothing like this never gwaan. Sometime you have a case wid blackberry message but this is noteworthy something. This is unprecedented – them bring the kitchen sink and the TV against this man and say deal wid it and we deal with it.
You knew if police come and tek evidence who knew there’s something called forensic imaging … Linton knew that but he didn’t know that I, Rogers, Lorne, Dewar, Harris would find out. But we find out
(Names mentioned by Tavares Finson represent lawyers on the Defence team).
You hear them talk bout taxi driver near Needfa speed, all now we don’t see him and we don’t hear why.
Mr. Ford – someone I choose to deal with next. I have a lot of respect but I lose affa him. Him come and say him took off some long number and put phone in evidence bag and you say give me the notebook – Mr. Ford laas it
Murray say she have her book cos Forc told her it’s very important and Ford laas fi him own.
Imagine if you sit in this so court as a parent and first thing that come up is that him laas it. You would be appalled and You should be…
Joseph Simmonds – don’t know so much what a gwaan a Ja. He said he got request from police. Him say you have bb message and you have text. Every time you send text it write down a DIGICEL you know. Dem carry Simmonds and him say police say send out all text from Palmer phone. Him say they have a protocol – that just mean a practice.
They come and say give me all they texts. Him gone on him laptop and make 2CD and wrap them and put them in evidence bag. Him a write a name to make sure nobody don’t go in there. The other one him don’t open at all
Cos since police getting one CD he has other as control so no one can interfere with that. Him say when him put on the tape – evidence is to show if it was open. Bear in mind his job
He put it in an envelop, signs and admits CD number 2 can be changed. In fact people people listen to me him could not identify JS 2 as he didn’t even mark it. But him don’t accustom to Jamaican police. Is England him work. Cos if did him would a put a little scratch and seh see it ya.
I ask him if him would do it so again. Him say no!
Listen to the killer – only way you can verify information on CD number 2 is to have CD number one. So I said ‘can you say in front of jury and the court that the document JS2 is a true representation of what you took off laptop’
His answer to me was – ‘if you can hand me JS1 I may be able to do so’
The Prosecution is asking you to accept JS2 information when DIGICEL witness can’t confirm it.
Hear me now – ‘Mr. Taylor would you be so kind as to hand me JS1′?
Judge said – ‘Mr. Finson are you finish…yes Mr. Taylor’
Hear Taylor – ‘I don’t have JS 1 My Lord’
To date have you not heard any explanation as to how Ford come to lose his book and the DPP office come to lose the disc.
Simmonds can’t verify but you must convict people of murder when Simmonds says he never see that yet!
Hear me to Mr. Simmonds now ‘in consequence of the loss Mr. Simmonds – you can’t identify the contents of JS2′ but the prosecution saying you show convict them on that.
Those texts you hear Jamaican police come and say bout ‘how much to deal with everything fi Lizy…’when you find out is the man talking bout him daughter!
If police were able to do that, if it wasn’t for the calibre of people and expert we have on this side…we wouldn’t find out. A trick dem a try trick you!
As far as the series of text that come from down a DIGICEL is concerned, your cannot rely on that.
That moves me easily in evidence of Shawn Brown – man who tell you, I am a professional but it is important for you ask professional at what because recognize this. Brown now – you know my friend Lorne made an important point and I really heard it on the radio. Lorne ask him – ‘Is there anything that requires a Justice of the Peace to be present when preparing these documents’
And I was thinking it should be a part of the law but that don’t exsist in Jamaica cos this is Jamaica.
Brown attended meetings with police investigators and he knows how to deal with text to fit them into the picture that they are creating. Brown attended those meetings and he’s also the person who was also with the CD teking information off the CD. So it’s crucial that they act above board. So when you find an instance where they do not act above board you have to ask can I act on his evidence. If Simmonds couldn’t accept it, why should you.
(Short break for jurors to stretch their legs)
Chow evidence open to so many questions that what prosecution is open to say is, don’t worry about Chow, deal with the technical evidence as that is above reproach. But the same witness who said you can trust me is the same one that go into material and create a story about Lizy.
Judge – Mr. Finson, the evidence wasn’t that he created story of Lizy
Finson – he took something completely out of context and is asking you to believe. -
‘how much to deal with everything fi Lizy’ and he created a story cos you don’t have enough sense to understand and he doesn’t understand that we are smart enough to look at what he did.
Brown is also person that dealt with the of where the phones were -
At 5:27:57 seconds Clive Williams was in Waterford when Chow says he was at Swallowfield and it goes right along just as I showed you.
When Palmer was as hospital, Williams just leaving St. Catherine.
Prosecution will rely on technical evidence but remember the person who created JS1 document don’t know cos the document disappear offa di face of the earth and gone. GONE. No explanation
Then the prosecution seh they are calling an expert – DNA evidence. All of us watch CS what ? CSI and Law and Order. One heralding of DNA evidence. They said they find a little drip of blood – human blood and tek sample. The Expert didn’t seh she smell nothing when she come here.
The DNA don’t prove A TING – DNA not linked to Clive Williams. Why was that evidence put before you if not to confuse, deceive and mislead you. The 11 of you as Jamaicans should ask them -Why they bring it here.
Police man Thompson said he was in charge of crime scene. Say him smell the place smell terrible. And him run a little yellow cord to undo it and leave it. Not even a little blue seam police – no disrespect to you constable blue seam in court.
Not even to put a District constable to guard the house when the house was in the custody of state. Somebody go there and burn down the house. Nobody was put there as he never had manpower or money to buy lock.
If it was your relative would you be comfortable if police bring them here to answer to murder charge under these circumstances. This is so funny and it cease to be amusing that the prosecution asking you to that accept evidence. They are not putting it up as a joke
Listen to me now – tell dem fi deal wid the Text that dem tamper wid, deal wid Ford and losing his book, deal wid the two handwriting expert that they use and never bring and deal wid the absence of the original statement when he as representative of state laas it.
JS1 that Simmonds give them, them laas it.
If I was DPP and I lose dem document deh, pI would hide it like how dem hide the expert that them get
At 7:08PM all now dem don’t leave Waterford and the man deh a Andrews
So DNA evidence turn out to be wet squid, house in their custody and it burn down – I would be ashamed to say so! I am Inspector of police and responsible for high profile scene and I only put up a piece of yellow tape. I would be ashamed. I would come here and beg pardon!
So when Palmer says something is wrong I feel there is a conspiracy… When im say it when the case start dem in a court a laugh a yap yap yap after me. And it burn me too man – court full when case start. Police full up di place
I have never seen this!
4 original statement and them laas it. August 24, – 4 statement dem laas fi di man and dem don’t cry excuse and just gwaan and when di man say im feel like the victim of conspiracy dem laugh after me. Well, dem nah laaf now.
We have exposed their conspiracy, we have exposed Chow as a liar. Not just me you now. All a we!
But that’s not the end. They going to come and play every text but you need to say all of that is subject to manipulation. Mr Taylor will say but you haven’t prove manipulation. I don’t have to prove anything!
The prosecution sent fi dem big gun- Bigger than Linton. Insp Warren Williams. He deals with for examination in a Jamaica. After 2 questions him say he doesn’t know where the house is. It is critical as all other measurement is taken from there. He said Thompson tek him and show him place weh burn down and him put ballon and pin di wrong place and him say is google fault.
Google map is a thing weh dem can track all fish. If you hang washing pon di line a you yaad, google map can pick it up. And him blame google map. And when this man says me feel like a victim people laugh or use to laaf.
(Court breaks here again. I missed a few minutes upon resumption. Here’s where I picked up again)
….someone has capacity to interfere with the evidence on phone.
The Chop up text was created 3 hours after the phone was in police custody. Linton never tell you that. He came here as expert intending to deceive.
Give me the phone relevant to this matter Finson asks of the registrar.
Holds up the phone – this is instrument they took from Palmer and Linton says a constable by the name of Pitt …
At the Flying Sqaud, the phone was being used at flying squad and that chop up text was created 3hours after police had it in their custody. When Ford had this phone, it was being used and that critical text was placed on it.
Prosecution said to him you put in a safe place. He said yes to protect if from moisture, humidity and something else. He kept it away from everything except those at the lab.
And him lock it up and put the key pon top of the safe. Imagine you get 2000 pound from your relative in England and you lock it up and put key pon top of a safe and someone open safe and tief di money.
Forensic imaging showed the phone was interfered with five times while in police custody. What you are left with is a prosecution case that is so the foundation of integrity.
So when Adidja Palmer gets up and says I am an innocent man and says that there’s a conspiracy to remove me from society for a very long time cos when I came down with Ford when they arrested me there were members of the press there.
He is in custody and he hears bout deceomposing body. We made an application for bail and we are told they found blood and have DNA. The Judge make the order for the DNA to be brought. Heh, then we hear next ting bout video – at 10:53PM when video was being made Kartel was picked up on Grants Pen Road.
In the bail application they say they found 4 phones in his cell and turned out to be a lie! And they say there’s no conspiracy.
Then they say they find flat screen TV in his cell. On top of that the Minister of National Security have his picture a congress and all bout and say him is the cause of all crimes in Jamaica. Him sing a song – I wonder sometimes if I am in a dream. Man in custody awaiting trial and the. Minister of National Security a walk and a say him guilty. And him jus a galant a galang and nobody nuh say anything bout it?
You have the power to say to them now you are incompetent! What you are doing to the citizens of Jamaica is wrong. A don’t give hoot. Simmonds say if this was Engalnd it wouldn’t go nowhere.
Raise the standard man. All of us here are appalled even the commissioner of police is appalled because before the case finish Ford say di slackness wah use to go on not going to go on again.
(Finson reads from the Observer newspaper here..new procedure for phones seized from suspect …mandatory for certain steps to be taken ….)
All them procedure too late for him. The horse done gallop gone thru the game. You, the 11 sensible Jamaicans must say to the authorities wheel and come again. Put your house in order if you want to convict people.
They have a chance to put this right. They start already. Use this opportunity to get rid of corruption and I say corruption without fear of contradiction.
Bring a verdict if NOT guilty for each and every one of these 5 men but recognize that when you do, you doing that not only for the judicial system but to country because if you accept this sort of slackness it is not going to stop.
If you accept police using phones, losing notebooks, losing CDs and convict on it is saying to authorities gwaan do what you want and lock up anyone and be he high or be he low no body phone information is sacred. Everything you write is at DIGICEL. It is there somewhere waiting for some unscrupulous character.
Government pass law and put some guidelines about how these things are to be dealt with in court. You come here are argue about rules that parliament put in court. And prosecution come here and say whether …
I am you asking to return w verdict for Jamaica. Turn your back on the slackness and send them back to the drawing board. Let them keep a Commission of Enquiry when this is done and see what slackness happened here.
Because none of us is scared. Be he high or be he low.
This is said to be the longest case in recent history in Jamaica - just the other day I was drawing my sorrel, Now it’s almost Easter.
What the prosecution has put before you has placed you in a moral dilemma with the evidence each of which is subject to some manipulation.
BB messages including -’ mi chop him up fine fine’ – contained in bb transmission and I said to Simmonds how would I be able to check that to see if was really sent.
He said – BB message can be a manipulated. So how you check it?
He said -’In reality the information is stored on BB is held outside of Jamaica’
Is asked him -’so if I wanted to verify information and be certain of its authenticity how can I do that’
His answer- ‘ only way to verify that information is to go to RIM – Research In Motion’
Every piece of info is there put down. Just write to legal liaison for RIM.
When I asked Linton he said he don’t know. He didn’t know about RIM
So what are you being asked to be do?
The Video was made at 10:53 – but why is it being put before me – seek answer from Mr. Taylor in his 3 day address that he’s going to give you. You are in a moral dilemma in that the prosecution is asking you to convict on information that is unverifiable in circumstances where Palmer says there’s a conspiracy. You blame him? I don’t
I am asking for a for fair hearing. Don’t allow 3 days of rehashing the evidence here. It cannot be changed. You have heard it all.
When Brown came here with text poeple say my god, this man corner dark. Then DNA evidence came and people say, my gad dis man corner dark.
Well, we have ripped the robes it and left them whimpering.
I am asking you to deliver a verdict of NOT GUILTY and say to authorities do better than that next next time. Don’t try that with any other citizen.
My regret is that it has taken so long. Perhaps the men being in custody for so long was for a purpose.
Be patient and deliver your verdict knowing you have done your duty to the system and Jamaica land we love.
If anything and later you say heh Mr. Finson forget this and for that- Remember you know, we are under I wouldn’t say pressure but we do our best. Do your best and deliver a proper verdict. Thank you Madam Foreman and Your members.