People awaiting for Adidja Vubz Kartel Palmer verdict and trial ‘s developments have to wait still, since this morning the start of Wednesday’s sitting in the alleged murder trial has been delayed again due to the reported ill health of a juror.Up to 11:20 am this morning proceedings in the trial, which has been running for the last 63 days, did not commence.
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Meanwhile, an air of excitement was building up in and around the court house downtown Kingston, as members of the public anticipate the possibility of the jurors deliberating on a verdict later today. However such an occurrence is highly unlikely in the trial given the absence of the juror.
In the afternoon the presiding judge at the trial just informed the court that all the jurors are available and proceedings will start at 1 o’clock of today March 12. Earlier, the unavailability of one juror resulted in the cancellation of the morning session. It is not clear why the juror from the 11-member panel was unavailable. Justice Lennox Campbell is on his fifth day of summing up evidence in the case.
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He is expected to complete the review of evidence from Detective Sergeant Patrick Linton, a former head of the Police Cyber crimes Unit. The policeman had introduced call records, text messages and voice notes in the trial. The judge has reviewed the evidence of 13 of 24 witnesses called in the case. Outside Home Circuit the female relatives of 38-year-old World Boss Vybz Kartel and his four co-accused have been barred from attending their murder trial although it is being held in open court.
One of Kartel’s relatives who has been prevented from entering the courtroom, is his grandmother. Valda Palmer attends daily but has to be sitting on a bench outside the courtroom. “This is sheer oppression,” an attorney-at-law said. The police have said the relatives are not allowed inside the courtroom because of security concerns. The president of the Jamaican Bar Association, Ian Wilkinson, QC, says members of the public, as a general rule, must be allowed access to justice. ”Access to justice is one of the hallowed principles of our Constitution and it helps to build confidence in the justice system,” Wilkinson said.
He said when people are allowed to attend court they get the opportunity to see justice at work. “You can’t prevent people from having access to the courts under the blanket excuse of security concerns especially when the witnesses are no longer giving evidence. Any exception to hinder people from the courts must be rare and there must be good reason for doing so,” he said. He said if the police had genuine security concerns that should be respected but spurious reasons should not be given by the police to prevent members of the public from attending trials which are being held in public. Wilkinson said when persons are barred and there is no valid reason lawyers should take the issue to the trial judge.