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Prosecutor tests Machel’s grammar

Published: 
Friday, March 25, 2011
Defence lawyer objects as...
Machel Montano

Methods of cross-examination were called into question, as the assault case against soca superstar Machel Montano continued yesterday. Montano’s attorney Dana Seetahal, SC, repeatedly made objections, both general and specific, to state prosecutor George Busby’s cross-examination of Montano before Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court. 

Seetahal described Busby’s questioning as repetitive, irrelevant and argumentative at times. Busby, as he walked Montano through his previous testimony, chose to test Montano’s use of grammar and choice of words. Busby began the day’s proceedings by asking Montano to relay the interactions between himself and two state witnesses—Helen Ganga and Gerard Bowrin. Montano said after he was approached by an intoxicated Bowrin, he told a friend: “Let’s keep an eye on this guy. He is looking to cause trouble. Let’s try to keep away.” 

Busby then asked Montano to describe the general area at Zen nightclub and the location of the parties involved on the night. Bubsy provided the argumen that Montano could have moved away from the general area that Ganga and Bowrin were occupying. “I couldn’t move, my back was exactly against the bar,” Montano responded. In his statement given into evidence, Montano claimed that a drink was thrown on him while dancing with a female friend. Busby proceeded to ask Montano to explain what he meant by “thrown” and if the spilling of the drink could be accidental. Montano explained: “In that situation thrown could mean to toss, pelt or even spill accidentally.” Busby responded with laughter which drew the objection of Seetahal who said the laughing could be an insult and could influence the court in disbelieving her client. 

Baboolal-Gafoor then instructed Busby to resist the temptation to laugh. Busby ended yesterday’s cross-examination by asking Montano details of the confrontation that occurred between Montano and Bowrin after the drink was spilt and the intervention of the club’s bouncers which led to Bowrin’s removal from the club that night. Montano faces offences of assaulting Bowrin and using obscene language.  Montano is also jointly charged with Joel “Zan” Feveck, Kernal Roberts and Rodney “Benjai” Le Blanc with assaulting Russell Pollonais. Montano, Feveck and Roberts are also charged with assaulting Brandis Brown. The matter was adjourned to next Monday where cross-examination is expected to continue.

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