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Are these so-called tapes not inadmissible in court?

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22.FEB.08

EDITOR: I have been in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the past three weeks on holiday. I am a British-trained lawyer. I have been following the allegations against your Prime Minister on talk-radio.{{more}}

Much has been made by some persons about tape recorded conversations between the female police officer and her two superiors, including the Commissioner of Police.

The question is this: Are the conversations between the lady and her senior officers not inadmissible in evidence in a Court of Law in that they offend the rule against hearsay evidence?

It is to be noted that the accused person was not present at these conversations. So, they are clearly “hearsay” and thus inadmissible against him in any criminal trial. Do these conversations, which were allegedly taped, fall within any of the accepted exceptions to the “hearsay rule”? The answer is a resounding “No”.

The situation is no better for the lady in her civil case. These taped conversations are also inadmissible. I expect that her lawyers know all this to be so.

It follows, therefore, that these tapes are merely being used to further salacious gossip for political purposes.

As an outsider, I am amazed that the politics in this small country can be so nasty. And in many other countries, mere allegations would not fly. Serious journalists would have rubbished them.

John Ambrose

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