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Machel verdict stars on the Net

By Julien Neaves

THE NEWS that local soca superstar Machel Montano was found guilty on five criminal charges has been carried on regional websites and a few international sites.

It was also fodder for comments on Twitter and Facebook.

According to the examiner.com, "Internationally-renowned, Machel Montano faces stiff punishment after being found guilty of five criminal offences".

The website noted that Montano "is regarded as one of soca's greatest ever products" and referred to his "smash hits" "Toro Toro", "Pump Yuh Flag", "Higher Than High" and that he was featured in "Roll It Gyal" together with Barbadian soca artiste Alison Hinds.

The website also noted his collaborations with many of Jamaica's "lead acts" including Shaggy, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Mr Vegas, Red Rat and Vybz Kartel. The examiner.com story was also posted on topnewstoday.org.

The story was also featured on websites bvinews, Globe Span Radio and regionally on the Caribbean 360 news site, Dominicanewsonline, Jamaica Observer, Guyana Times, Stabroek News, Nation News and cananewsonline, with some sites referencing the front page story carried in this newspaper yesterday.

The breaking story was carried on the Express website minutes after Machel was convicted with around 50,000 hits on the story within hours.

Montano, Kernal Roberts, Rodney "Benjai" LeBlanc and Joel "Zan" Feveck were charged in connection with the assault of four people outside the Zen nightclub in Port of Spain on April 26, 2007.

Roberts, producer, songwriter, and son of the late calypsonian Lord Kitchener, was also found guilty on two assault charges while LeBlanc and Feveck were found not guilty of the charges against them.

On social networking site Twitter hashtag "machelmontano" had a number of tweets on the issue including "Jesuss, Whyyyyyy machelmontano going jail!!", "machelmontano IN JAIL?!? BUH WUD D A**", "Machelllll whyyy? How ah guh wine now?", "Maybe if Machel Montano didn't teef a lil wine he wouldn't be going to jail...I'm just saying", "Double M get jail time...whats up with that" and "ah me say Karma".

As has become common with popular issues Montano was also the subject of parody pictures on social networking site Facebook. There was "Going for Golden Grove", a reference to his Going for Gold album and the prison at Golden Grove, "Aye Yuh Body Good Oye", a reference to the song "Illegal", with Montano and Roberts behind simulated bars with buff men behind them.

There was also "He getting off on Section 30" (Montano has a rum called 3 Zero) and "Don't worry, Section 35", a picture with Montano standing next to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

They were both references to the Section 34 controversy where businessmen Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson applied to have their matters dismissed following the controversial early proclamation of Section 34 of the Indictable Proceedings Act.

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