FAN GETS HANDSHAKE: Triple crown winner Machel Montano greets a fan, following his appearance in the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court yesterday. —Photo: CURTIS CHASE

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Prosecutor questions Machel's control

By Rickie Ramdass rickie.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

STATE prosecutor George Busby yesterday questioned the tolerance level of soca artiste Machel Montano as it relates to him dealing with his fans on a constant basis and the likelihood of his becoming agitated when doing so.

Busby raised the issue on day-three of his closing submissions in the assault trial against Montano and three other soca artistes which is being heard in the Port of Spain Court before Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor.

During his five-hour-long submission which brought the State's case to a close, Busby stated that Montano himself had given evidence that at times he would prefer to not be approached by fans, but instead be left alone.

"Your Worship, Mr Montano said in his evidence that sometimes he would prefer to be left alone. There are times when he might be sick or he might be tired or he would just like to be a normal person," Busby said.

Montano, Kernel Roberts, Rodney "Benjai" Le Blanc and Joel "Zan" Feveck are accused of assaulting four people outside the Zen nightclub in Port of Spain on April 26, 2007.

They are Russell Pollonais, Brandis Browne, Janelle Lee Chee and Gerard Borwin.

"He also testified that he would sometimes have his own security detail to protect him against unruly fans, but on that night he did not. Why? Because he said on that night he wanted to relax and mingle privately. He did not even want those people (his security detail) around him that night," Busby said.

Busby also stated that in Montano's evidence, he testified that at times he would also become agitated when members of his band, The HD Family, made mistakes during their performances.

"So even after 30 years of making music and performing, he would still lose his temper when the band makes a mistake. So I find it unbelievable that on that night (of the incident) he would have been able to control himself at a time when he wanted to relax and mingle privately," said the prosecutor.

Following the closing of the State's case, Montano's defence attorney Dana Seetahal SC told the court she wished to respond to Busby's submissions on the next date the matter is called.

Busby, however, objected by saying this was not allowed by law, stating that the prosecution in any matter "always have the final say."

Baboolal-Gafoor said on April 12, when the matter is recalled she would give her decision on if Seetahal should be allowed to respond to the State's submissions.

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