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Telephone evidence goes missing in Vybz Kartel trial

ON TRIAL: Vybz Kartel

A TELECOMMUNICATIONS official under cross-examination at the Vybz Kartel murder trial said one of the two computer discs which contains call and text-message records has gone missing.

Joseph Simmons, group business risk director at Digicel, was being cross-examined by Kartel's lawyer, Tom Tavares-Finson, when the revelation was made.

Simmons had testified in the Home Circuit Court that part of his job responsibility is to provide customer information to authorised persons and organisations such as the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Ministry of National Security.

He said he received a request from the police to provide information in relation to 40 telephone numbers in relation to calls and text messages made between July 2011 and August 2011.

The telecoms expert said he prepared a witness statement and handed over two discs to the police. He said one of the discs was sealed with evidence tape and the other was to be used by the police and prosecutors and defence lawyers to gather information.

One of the discs was tendered in evidence yesterday, but when Tavares-Finson asked for the witness to be shown the other sealed disc, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Taylor said he did not have that disc.

Tavares-Finson asked the witness if he was aware that the disc had been lost, Simmons replied by saying "I have been told that."

The attorney then said with the absence of the second disc then the one tendered was unverifiable.

Earlier, police corporal Heather Forrest testified that on September 30, 2011, she and other police personnel went to the Altamont Court Hotel where accused André St John and Shane Williams were taken into custody. She said two cell phones were taken from them.

The other accused on trial with Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, are entertainer Shawn Campbell also called Shawn Storm, and Kahira Jones.

The five are being tried for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams, who was allegedly beaten to death on August 16, 2011, over two missing guns.

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