The Prosecution’s case in the Klansman Gang Trial suffered a blow today.

Presiding Judge Chief Justice Bryan Sykes denied the admission of two lengthy transcripts containing the cellphone conversations the second witness had with several members of the gang.

Justice Sykes is preventing the admission of the transcripts at this time due to what he described as insufficient evidence to indicate the chain of custody of the phone recordings that were transcribed.

Tauna Thomas has been covering the trial:


These recordings were made by the second witness when he became an informant and began working with an undercover Policeman.

In his evidence, he indicated handing over to the Policeman, three phones with recorded conversations of himself and other members of the gang to include the reputed leader Andre “Blackman” Bryan.

Today while the third witness, a Policewoman who transcribed the audio was testifying, the Prosecution made an application for the transcripts to be admitted into evidence.

However several of the defence attorneys, objected to the admission of the documents.

Lloyd McFarlane who is representing Bryan, argued that there was not sufficient evidence to say who the voices on the audio conversations belonged to.

The senior defence attorney argued that this would be necessary before admitting the transcript of these conversations.

Another attorney, Kimani Brideson argued that there was no evidence to indicate the safe keeping of the CD that had the recordings.

He also said there was no evidence brought to show that the recordings were made by the second witness.

A third lawyer, Walter Melbourne argued that there was an issue in relation to the chain of custody of the recordings.

He said:

Quote “From where this CD came, we do not know. We do not know how the CD came about and how it was handled. The issue of provenance must be handled.” End Quote

In response Justice Sykes said more information was needed about the contents of the transcript.

He said there was not sufficient evidence about the chain of custody of the audio content.

He explained that those were the reasons preventing the admission of the Transcripts at this time.

These are two of the transcripts containing the written conversations that the second witness said he had with several gang members.

One transcript contains 174 pages and the other has 69.

Meanwhile, this is the second attempt by the Prosecution to have the Transcripts admitted into evidence.

On the previous occasion the second witness indicated to signing the documents along with the Police personnel who transcribed.

But Transcripts bearing the signatures of all the persons he mentioned was not on the document.

Tauna Thomas For Nationwide News