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Testimony of US forensic consultant halted in Keith Clarke murder trial

By Racquel Porter 
   
The testimony of an American forensic consultant was halted on Tuesday afternoon in the trial of three soldiers charged with the 2010 murder of businessman Keith Clarke, following an objection by the defence.
 
After a morning filled with legal arguments, American forensic consultant Matthew Noedel took the witness stand.
 
Mr. Noedel, a forensic consultant for 38 years, said he was was hired by USAID to examine exhibits recovered from the 2010 Tivoli incursion.
 
Marshalled by the prosecution, the expert said he was hired by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) on November 11, 2012.
 
He told the prosecution that he was requested by INDECOM to test-fire three rifles.
 
The prosecutor asked Mr. Noedel to provide further ballistics information in relation to the rifles.
 
He told the court that he was unable to do so without consulting the document.
 
The legal team representing lance corporals Greg Tingling, Odel Buckley, and Private Arnold Henry objected. 
 
King's Counsel Valerie Neita Robertson took issue with the chain of custody for the three rifles.
 
Mrs. Neita Robertson complained that no foundation was laid.
 
The seven-member jury was asked to leave the courtroom.
 
The witness, who appeared via Zoom, was muted.
 
But after lengthy back and forth between the prosecutor and Mrs. Neita Robertson, presiding judge, Justice Dale Palmer, decided to pause the testimony of the witness and release him until Wednesday.
 


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