Kartel's lawyers confident ahead of appeal

September 27, 2017
In this 2014 photo, Vybz Kartel (centre) leaves the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.
Valerie Neita-Robertson
Vybz Kartel heading to court as he went on trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice at the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court in August 2014.

Valerie Neita-Robertson, one of the attorneys in Vybz Kartel's murder appeal case, says she has all confidence in the country's legal system.

"We don't regard the court of appeal as tainted in anyway," said Robertson. "We have confidence that if we put our arguments properly, we will be listened to and then it will be a matter for them (the Court) to deliver their judgement."

Vybz Kartel is serving a life sentence for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams. He was convicted along with Shawn Campbell, Andre St John, and Kahira Jones in the Home Circuit Court in March 2014.

The sentencing of Kartel and three other co-accused followed a 65-day trial, the longest in Jamaican history. Kartel must serve 35 years before becoming eligible for parole. Shawn Campbell and Kahira Jones, who were sentenced to serve a minimum of 25 years, and Andre St John, who can apply for parole after serving 15 years of a life sentence.

The men were granted leave to appeal the conviction and sentences earlier this year.


Case management process


Kartel's case for appeal is expected to begin in February, but Neita-Robertson, who is part of the team of lawyers representing the deejay, said there will be a number of case management dates leading up to that time. She explained that during the case management process, lawyers will be making sure that everything is in order before the appeal gets under way.

The attorney did not go into details about the kind of preparation the entertainer's legal team has been putting into the case, but said the necessary work is being done.

Kartel was hospitalised on Monday after complaining of pains in his side from last Wednesday. He is currently receiving treatment at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Neita-Robertson said she hopes the doctors treating the deejay have the matter under control and that he will be OK soon.

"We are hoping that the hospital will deal with the matter soon and he will be OK. I think they are running some tests and he was in some pain, so I think they are trying to alleviate that," she said.

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