Highly anticipated ‘Kartel’ ruling today

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – Jamaicans and global fans of incarcerated dancehall star Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer will tune in on Thursday to the Privy Council as they wait with bated breath to hear the fate of the popular entertainer, who is hoping to have his murder conviction overturned.

The country’s final appellate court will deliver the highly anticipated judgment via live stream at 11 a.m. local time.

Along with Kartel, fellow entertainer Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell and their co-appellants Andre St John and Khaira Jones are also set to hear their fate.

The men were convicted of Clive Williams’ murder in 2014 by a jury of their peers.

The facts of the case are that “after a trial lasting 64 days before the trial judge and a jury in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston, Jamaica, the appellants were convicted of Mr Williams’ murder. The prosecution’s case was that the appellants murdered Mr Williams on August 16, 2011, after he failed to return two unlicensed firearms, which the second appellant, Mr Palmer, had given him for safekeeping. Mr Williams was not seen or heard from after that date, and his body has never been found.”

Kartel and his co-convicts denied any involvement in the killing, and an appeal was set in motion. In April 2020, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appellants’ appeal against conviction.

Now, more than a decade later, the accused men have brought the matter before Jamaica’s final court of appeal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).

During the February hearing, a key issue that detained the Law Lords was the question of whether the trial process was fair given the incidents with jury tampering.

Lawyers who have weighed in on the matter believe that the pendulum of justice can swing either way – a full acquittal or a retrial.

(Jamaica Gleaner)

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