Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, says careful consideration will be given to the secret telephone conversations that were recorded by a former gangster now turned state witness, in the Klansman/One Don Gang Trial.
Justice Sykes began his summation of the longest running trial in Jamaica’s history, at the Supreme Court, in downtown Kingston Monday.
He says he acknowledges that mistakes can be made in the identification of voices.
More in this report from Robian Williams.
The secret cell phone recordings are being relied on by the Crown, to corroborate the testimony of its two main witnesses. This in an attempt to prove that the defendants were operating as a gang.
The recordings are conversations allegedly between the defendants. Chief Justice Sykes points out, that voices can be mistaken, which in previous cases have led to wrongful convictions.
The recordings were played in court and the former gangster was asked to identify the voices.
Meanwhile, Justice Sykes says he has taken note of the inconsistencies, omissions and discrepancies pointed out by the defense. During cross examination, the defence made several attempts to impeach the credibility of the Crown’s two main witnesses.
In some instances the defense highlighted contents of statements provided by the witnesses, that were contrary to what was said in court under oath. The defence contended that the witnesses left out critical information from their statements.
Justice Sykes noted that this could indicate doubt about the witness’ credibility and reliability. However, he stated that these are common occurrences in criminal trials.
Additionally, Justice Sykes says he’s acknowledged the defendants’ admission, of having no known previous convictions. He points out that good character is not a defence during a criminal trial, but it assumes great significance.
Justice Sykes says the court will also take into consideration, malicious intent on the part of the Crown’s key witness.
It was revealed that a defendant allegedly impregnated a woman, who was intimately involved with the former gangster. Justice Sykes says the court will have to decide if any substance can be found in that instance.
The trial initially saw 33 alleged members of the St Catherine-based gang being indicted on various charges including murder, conspiracy to murder, arson and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
Five of the accused were freed on the basis of insufficient evidence. The sole defendant in the matter who was out on bail, Andre Smith, was shot and killed in August.
The summation of the trial will resume on Tuesday.