An expert out of the United States was finally brought to testify in the case against Tarik Aaron and Leshaughn Smith. The men are on trial in the Magistrate’s Court on allegations that they possessed 24 kilos of cocaine with intent to supply to another.
The expert, Jason Beckert, today gave evidence that ties the accused men to a strapless OneMart bag that allegedly was discovered with cocaine inside.
The strapless bag was found at sea a short distance from the vessel on which Aaron and Smith were travelling.
Police also reportedly found two identical bag straps aboard the said vessel on the day in question.
Acting on suspicion that the bag straps were the ones missing from the OneMart bag, police sent the items to Beckert for testing. Beckert is a microscopist.
Following the tests, Beckert today stated that he has concluded that the bag straps are an exact match to the bag that contained the cocaine.
The expert said he discovered four pairs of physical matches between the strap and the bag.
He also stated that it was a rare occurrence to get such perfect matches, adding that the straps were torn from the bag.
“The four handle (strap) ends all match back to the attachment sites on the bag – which is very unusual.”
“This is described as a physical fit… This indicates that these two items (straps and bag) were previously joined together as one object,” the expert further said.
Beckert noted that his findings represent the ‘highest level of matching’.
In the meantime, the expert’s appearance in court today comes weeks after the defence insisted that he be brought into the Territory to testify.
Attorney-at-law Patrick Thompson is representing Aaron, while Valerie Stephens-Gordon and Stacy Abel are representing Smith.
The trial is continuing.
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