Vybz Kartel Appeal Judgment Coming Tomorrow

(JAMAICA GLEANER) – The Court of Appeal will on Friday morning deliver its judgment in the Vybz Kartel murder case.

Kartel and his co-accused have been waiting for almost 20 months on the ruling following their three-week appeal hearing in July 2018.

The dancehall artiste, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, and co-accused Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John were convicted in 2014 for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

In December, court registrar Stacie-Ann Reid, in a letter to Kartel’s lead attorney, Tom Tavares Finson said the court was at an ‘advanced stage’ of preparing the judgment.

Bert Samuels, who is representing one of Kartel’s co-accused, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, confirmed to The Gleaner minutes ago that all the attorneys will receive the judgement electronically.

“At 9:30 tomorrow morning, all the attorneys will receive the judgement on their phones,” he told The Gleaner. Samuels further added that arrangements have been made to facilitate the media.

“We have set up a makeshift area where representatives from the media will be asked to congregate to hear the results,” he explained.

On April 3, 2014, Justice Lennox Campbell gave Kartel and his co-accused mandatory life sentences for the 2011 murder.

The artiste, widely known as the Worl’ Boss, was ordered to serve 35 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Campbell, Jones and St John were each ordered to serve 25 years.

The men appealed their sentences and convictions in July 2018 and have been awaiting an outcome since.

Their lawyers contended that the trial judge allowed “contaminated” exhibits to be included in the trial.

In comments sent via Gaza’s vice-president, Sikka Rhymes, this week, Kartel stated: “I feel very upbeat about the case. Weak evidence, fabricated evidence and prosecutorial misconduct aside, there is absolutely nothing to worry about in law. I’m 100 per cent sure I should be set free. Legally, there is very little to be concerned about. But put the ‘Kartel factor’ in the mix and everything gets complicated.”

Despite being incarcerated since September 29, 2011, Kartel has dominated the entertainment space. He has released an estimated 50 new songs since his incarceration, and the national security officials have constantly shied away from answering whether he is being facilitated by agents of the state.

The Colouring Book deejay, through his lawyer, Tom Tavares-Finson, denied that he is recording in jail.

He said that he had a “lot of surplus material” that he recorded before he was arrested.

Last week, he went live on Instagram, triggering an investigation and a search of his cell, during which contraband was removed, according to prison authorities.