Kern Omar Spencer, MP (born 21 June 1974 in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) is a Jamaican politician. A member of the People’s National Party, Mr. Spencer served as Member of Parliament (MP) for St. Elizabeth North Eastern from 2007 to 2011.
Kern Spencer. And his assistant Coleen Wright.
While a state minister in the energy ministry in the previous government led by the PNP, Spencer was placed in charge of an energy-saving project. The project involved the distribution of four million free Cuban light bulbs island-wide. The project was implemented in July 2006. Allegations of irregularities in the project were leveled against Spencer in Parliament in November 2007 by then Energy Minister Clive Mullings, who asked the auditor-general and the contractor-general to probe the matter  Clive Mullings, told Parliament that $114 million was improperly spent on the distribution of four million energy-saving light bulbs donated by the Cuban Government to the people of Jamaica.wikipedia.
The Court of Appeal upheld a Supreme Court ruling that Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey does not have the power to subpoena Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewelyn as a witness in the trial. Pusey, who is presiding over the trial, had challenged the Supreme Court ruling.(jamaicagleaner.com)
Let me be clear about one thing, irrespective of my personal dislike for politicians, and my personal feelings as to what happened in this case, the accused, Kern Spencer must be given due process. He must be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.
All fair minded Jamaicans want in this matter is that justice be done. I have no information about the guilt or innocence of the accused, so I am thrilled that the high court has now cleared the way for the trial to go ahead.
From the beginning that this case came to the nation’s attention I opined in these blogs and wherever else my views are allowed, that there would be massive stone-walling which would see this case delayed and delayed until it is tossed from the calendar for want of prosecution.
There is precedent which supports my cynicism, the powerful and well connected in Jamaica simply do not get convicted in a court of law or gets sent to prison. Despite massive corruption , graft , and acts of thievery which permeates Jamaica’s political system,I stand to be corrected but to the best of my recollection there has only been one politician ever convicted and sent to prison. That was former labor Minister in the JLP ,JAG Smith, (now deceased).
We don’t know what will happen in this case, Spencer and the PNP can afford to pay some pretty competent defense counsel, which is never in short supply in Jamaica. In fact I thought that like so many other cases involving the connected, defense counsel would be able to use the laws to Spencer”s advantage to prevent a trial. When the loop-holes in the penal code are considered , shoddy police work, added to poor preparation and just bad prosecution, it’s a wonder anyone gets convicted for crimes in Jamaica.
Even when there are convictions they generally gets overturned on appeal.
I never imagined that the stone-walling would come from the Bench.
From the inception of this medium, I have reported and commented on the judicial activism of Judith Pusey. Case after case, comment after comment she has overstepped the normal decorum of judicial restraint. This performance however takes the cake. There are not many instances if any, where a Magistrate has so injected her/himself into a case, that defense counsel did not need to get involved. The Magistrate appointed herself default-defense counsel for Kern Spencer.
She picked a fight with the Director of Public Prosecution on her authority to decide who should be used as witness, as against who should be the principal offender, she challenged the evidence, she challenged the way the evidence was collected, and she used taxpayers money to challenge the DPP to the High Court.
As I said then, this Magistrate needs to be taken down a peg, her brand of activism is better suited for defense counsel, she should do the honorable thing and resign upon which she can join Spencer’s defense team. The Jamaica people cannot and will not get justice in this case as long as Judith Pusey is allowed to hear this case.
It is incumbent on the Chief Justice to remove her from this case now in the interest of Justice.Whether she did anything wrong is not important, Justice must not only be done it must seem to be done. Her actions before have been eyebrow raising on instance, questionable on others, on this case her behavior has been disgraceful.
Our country do not need Magistrates or Judges who see their role as that of criminal defender, it is about time that some competent authority take a real close look at her. Justice cannot be hostage to a Resident Magistrate whose motivations are unclear.
Ok scratch that there is no competent authority in Jamaica to do that, God help our little Island.