Judge to give verdict on Vybz Kartel’s case today

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 30 May, 2024 12:07 | 2 mins read
Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel wins appeal over murder conviction. PHOTO/Reuters
Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel wins appeal over murder conviction. PHOTO/Reuters

A ruling in Vybz Kartel’s habeas corpus case is expected to be handed down today at 2:00 pm in the Supreme Court.

The ruling will be delivered by Judge Andrea Thomas and follows the conclusion of arguments made by the defense and the prosecution in court on Wednesday afternoon.

Vybz Kartel release

Lawyers representing Kartel and two of his three co-accused filed the habeas corpus application seeking their release on Monday, May 14 because of issues the defence did not wish to disclose.

The application follows the Privy Council’s Thursday, March 14 ruling that Kartel and his co-accused have their convictions quashed for 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

The Privy Council had ordered that the case be returned to Jamaica’s Appeal Court to decide whether a retrial is necessary for Kartel and his co-accused Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John.

Vybz Kartel conviction

The application follows the Privy Council’s ruling on Thursday, March 14, which quashed the convictions of Kartel and his co-accused for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

The Privy Council had ordered that the case be returned to Jamaica’s Appeal Court to decide whether a retrial is necessary for Kartel and his co-accused Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John.

The Privy Council’s ruling followed an appeal made last month (February 14 and 15) by lawyers representing the then-convicts, who argued various grounds, including the admissibility of telecommunication evidence, allegations of jury misconduct, and pressure on the jury to reach a verdict.

Another ground cited for appeal was the judge’s decision to not discharge the jury or the accused juror following allegations of bribery attempts.

The appellants also argued that there was an apparent rush placed on the jury to return a verdict, even after the forewoman had told the judge earlier in the day that the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.

Since the ruling, the artiste has remained in prison. Shortly after, Kartel questioned the need for a retrial in his statement to Fox 5 News, saying, “I feel victorious in this very moment as the Privy Council, in their infinite wisdom, understood the assignment and remedied the situation by quashing my conviction! I am now back to being an innocent man in the eyes of the law. A grave injustice was done to me and my co-accused in the original trial… and my cries were heard in the land’s highest court.”

He added: “I am confident that the Court of Appeal in Jamaica will do the right thing in the name of equity, fairness, and justice and free us. Some people have expressed their concern to me that a retrial may be ordered, but to them I say (albeit with my limited knowledge of the law), ‘What is there to retry?’”

In April 2014, Kartel was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after serving 35 years of his sentence. His co-accused were also handed life sentences – with Shawn Storm and Jones being eligible for parole after serving 25 years, and St John being eligible after serving 15 years.

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