Ninja Man’s murder trial to go on, says judge

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Dancehall DJ Desmond ‘Ninja Man’ Ballentine is to return to court today on a murder charge

The matter, which has been before the courts since 2009, was re-scheduled in October 2013.

The Home Circuit Court was told then that Ballentine’s attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson was involved in another court matter.

Ninja Man is accused of the March 16, 2009 murder of Richard Johnson.

He is jointly charged with his son Janiel, and another man. Ninja Man is out on bail.

Ninja Man yesterday failed in an attempt to have his murder case thrown out in the Home Circuit Court.

Queen’s Counsel KD Knight applied to have the matter adjourned sine die or stayed on the grounds that the constitutional rights of the entertainer, whose real name is Desmond Ballentine, have been breached because of the length of time it has taken to have the case tried.

The matter has been before the court since 2009, the court was told.

In his submission, Knight noted that the case has been set for trial on many occasions and had been postponed because the prosecution could not produce their witnesses.

He said that at no time has the prosecution notified the defence that it would be relying on Section 31D of the Evidence Act to put the statements of the absent witnesses into evidence.

But in his refusal of the application, Justice Lloyd Hibbert said that the criminal court was not the proper forum for an application seeking constitutional redress to be heard.

Justice Hibbert said that he would rather have a new trial date set, and if the prosecution, at that point, doesn’t have its witnesses a jury is empanelled and a formal verdict of not guilty is returned.

But, yesterday, the prosecution presented its six witnesses and stated its readiness to proceed with the matter. The trial is set to begin on November 10.

The entertainer is accused of the March 16, 2009 gun murder of Richard Johnson. He is jointly charged with his son Janiel, and another man, Dennis Clayton.

Attorney Valerie Neita-Robertson also appears for the entertainer. His son is represented by Gladstone Wilson and Linton Walters appears for Clayton.

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