Defence to wrap up presentations in Kartel appeal request

June 30, 2020
 Vybz Kartel
Vybz Kartel

In April, the court rejected the appeal by Adidjah 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer, and his co-convicts Shawn 'Storm' Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John against their 2014 conviction and sentence for the 2011 slaying of Clive 'Lizard Williams.

However, their case was back in the same Court of Appeal yesterday, before Justice Patrick Brooks, as the quartet is now seeking permission to take the matter all the way to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom, the final appellate court for Jamaica. The men, who are all serving life sentences, intend to apply to the Privy Council to have the murder case overturned.

As day one of the proceedings got under way via video link, the legal teams for the four appellants commenced their presentation.

Continuing their presentation

Attorney-at-law Bert Samuels told THE STAR, "It started with Bianca Samuels for Shawn Campbell; John Clarke for Kahira Jones and Andre St John and Isat Buchanan for Adidjah Palmer. They are continuing their presentation and could occupy an hour tomorrow [today]."

After the attorneys wrap up their presentations, Queens Counsel Jeremy Taylor will commence his response.

As to whether the case would be wrapped up today, Samuels was unable to say. He said it depended in part on the length of Taylor's response.

According to information on the Privy Council's website, to bring an appeal, the appellant must have been granted leave by the lower court whose decision is being appealed.

"In the absence of leave, permission to appeal must be granted by the Board. In some cases, there is an appeal as of right and a slightly different procedure applies," the information read. "In criminal cases, it is unusual for the lower court to have the power to grant leave unless your case raises questions of great and general importance, or there has been some grave violation of the principles of natural justice."

Kartel and his co-convicts appealed their sentences and convictions in July 2018. Although the case was dismissed, the Court of Appeal admitted that an oversight was made during sentencing by Justice Campbell during the original trial, and reduced the sentences based on time already served.

Kartel must serve 32 and a half years minimum before becoming eligible for parole. Campbell and Johns will now serve 22 years and six months, while St John will serve 27 years and six months.

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