International soca artiste Machel Montano will go on the witness stand on January 28 to give evidence in his own defence to three assault charges laid against him following a fracas at the Zen nightclub, Port-of-Spain, three years ago. Yesterday, magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor called on Montano and three other entertainers to answer the charges against them after overruling no-case submissions made by the defence. "All four defendants are being called upon to answer the charges," Baboolal-Gafoor said in the Port-of-Spain Fifth Court yesterday. Montano, 35, was accompanied by relatives and friends. The magistrate said after reviewing the submissions from the defence, she found there was enough evidence for the accused to answer the charges. Montano, 35, Joel "Zan" Fezeck, Kernel Roberts, 28, songwriter/producer and son of the late calypsonian Lord Kitchener, and Rodney "Benjai" Le Blanc are on trial before Baboolal-Gafoor on the charge of assaulting Russell Pollonais.
Montano, Fezeck and Roberts also are charged with assaulting Brandis Brown. Montano also faces further allegations of assaulting Jenelle Le Chee and Gerard Bowrin and using obscene language. The charges stem from a fracas outside the nightclub on Keate Street, Port-of-Spain, on April 26, 2007. A spokesman said when the trial was next heard Dana Seetahal, SC, attorney for Montano, would adduce evidence from her client while under oath. The soca superstar will then be cross-examined by prosecutors. George Busby leads the prosecution for the State.
Following that Roberts, Fezeck and Le Blanc will each present their cases. Roberts is represented by Keith Scotland, while Fezeck is being defended by Larry Williams. John Heath and Shalini Khan appear for Le Blanc.