JURY OUT IN PUFFY TRIAL

Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos claims that Puff Daddy was guilty of giving "demonstrably, undeniably false" testimony in his marathon six-hour summary...

SEAN ‘PUFFY’ COMBS was guilty of giving “demonstrably, undeniably false” testimony and had to be convicted on gun possession and bribery charges, prosecutor MATTHEW BOGDANOS told a jury yesterday (March 13), as he wrapped up the case against the rap mogul in a New York court.

And while he picked holes through Combs’ testimony and laid out again allegations of witness tampering and what he claimed to be firm evidence that Combs indeed had a gun in a New York nightclub when three people were shot, the story of the day was the length of his argument.

It clocked in at a massive six hours, during which time members of the jury visibly lost interest and patience with what he had to say.

According to Court TV, one female juror “scowled at him when he said he planned to talk another hour, and she rolled her eyes sympathetically at Combs when she and the rest of the panel trudged out of the jury box for the day”.

Throughout his close, Bogdanos stressed Puffy believed his position meant he felt he was beyond prosecution.

“When you have been so powerful for so long, you begin to believe that you are above the law,” he said. “Justice cannot be bought at any price,” he added, pointing at celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran, the head of Puffy’s defence team.

During the defence close on Monday – when Puffy’s lawyer Ben Brafman had spoken for a little under three hours while his co-accused’s (rapper Jamal ‘Shyne’ Barrow and bodyguard Anthony ‘Wolf’ Jones) lawyers had spoken for an hour each – it had been argued that Puffy was at the mercy of “bad people” who were out simply to line their pockets through multi-million-dollar lawsuits against him. It was a point strongly rebuffed by Bogdanos.

“It’s not about who they are,” he said, “but what they saw. This is not the Puff Daddy trial, this is not the Jennifer Lopez trial, not the Shyne or Wolf trial. Lest we forget, it’s about three people shot in a club.”

He also pointed jurors towards ballistic evidence offered by experts, which mapped the trajectory of gunshots fired. He said that evidence matched completely with the evidence of two of the gunshot victims, who said they saw Combs with a gun.

“You can’t change it. You can’t spin it. You can close your eyes to it if you want, but that’s what you’d be doing not to see that it was defendant Combs who fired that single shot,” he said.

The case, he added, “was rampant with bribery, money, influence and witnesses changing their testimony. The truth is bad for the defence.”

The Manhattan Supreme Court jury – of seven men and five women – have now begun their deliberation. It is unclear exactly how long it might take.

If found guilty, Puffy and his bodyguard Jones face 15 years for their part in the shooting. Rapper and Puffy protege Shyne faces 25 years for his part in the incident.