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Jamaica – Digicel hands over call data just before subpoena issued



Kingston, Jamaica (Jamaica Observer) – Ahead of the delivery of a subpoena to force its hand to deliver critical call data records and cell site details linked to recorded conversations and several confiscated handsets in the case against 33 alleged members of the Klansman Gang, telecoms giant Digicel released the data, prosecutors disclosed yesterday.

On Monday, the Crown indicated its intention to invoke the powers of the court to haul the telecoms provider before the tribunal in respect to the records to end the impasse which was stretching into several weeks. Prosecutors had in November disclosed that the police had faced “challenges” in obtaining the records from the island’s two major telecommunications companies. Last Monday, it signalled that the deadlock had been resolved in part with telecoms provider Flow having turned over the requested information to the Communication Forensics and Cybercrime Division (CFCD) of the Constabulary’s Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch (C-TOC). The prosecutors, at that time, indicated that they might have to invoke the powers of the court to have the other provider fulfill the request. On Monday, instructions were issued for the court’s registrar to prepare the subpoena for the delivery as prosecutors said there was still “reluctance” on the part of Digicel.

Yesterday, moments before the adjournment of the trial, prosecutors informed the trial judge, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, who had insisted, “service providers are not sacred cows”, that the telecoms provider had capitulated.

“The subpoena has not yet been served but we are told the package is on its way, it is in Jamaica Milord,” one senior prosecutor said.

Asked by the trial judge, “what does that mean in plain English?”, he replied “in terms of our agents (CFCD), they don’t have it yet. We are told by the very latest tomorrow (today) it should be in their hands,” the prosecutor explained.

The call data records and cell site information are being counted on as part of the evidence in the case by prosecutors, especially in relation to a drama-filled car chase in the old capital of Spanish Town to intercept armed gangsters aboard motor vehicles.

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