(URBAN ISLANDZ) – The General Legal Council, the oversight body for lawyers in Jamaica, has suspended attorney Isat Buchanan, the lead defense attorney on Vybz Kartel’s appeal case, for crass comments made towards the country’s Director of Public Prosecutions.
On Tuesday, the disciplinary panel of the GLC gave its decision after hearing from Buchanan and his legal representative that he should be suspended for two (2) years.
The attorney was originally cited for professional misconduct over the remarks that quoted a line from a Vybz Kartel song. The GLC had reported that it received many reports asking that Buchanan be sanctioned for breaching canons I(b) and VIII(b) of the Legal Profession (Canon of Professional Ethics) Rules, which governs the conduct of lawyers and requires that they uphold the honor and dignity of the legal profession in the island.
The attorney admitted his mistake last month and also released an apology to the DPP Paula Llewellyn, and also pleaded guilty to both citations.
Isat was represented by King’s Counsel Valeria Neita Robertson, who confirmed that the attorney was suspended.
“He did the right and honorable thing. He took responsibility for the comments that were made, remember he apologized before that and he apologized again. All that was left was for the panel to sentence him,” the Gleaner quoted King’s Counsel.
Buchanan is the lead attorney for Vybz Kartel and instructing counsel on his upcoming Privy Council appeal, which will be heard on Valentine’s Day next year. However, 16 lawyers are working on the trial (for all of the defendants) so his absence is unlikely to significantly affect the case.
His attorney also revealed that he was saddened by the decision of the GLC but that he “loves the law and to be absent for any time is not something he is happy with, but he will survive.”
According to the Gleaner, Buchanan also said he is “worried” about his clients and is taking steps to inform them of the decision.
“I am sad that I won’t be able to represent my clients. God and time,” he said.