Vybz Kartel’s attorney to probe claims of mistreatment
Attorney-at-Law Isat Buchanan, who represents incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel, is currently investigating claims that his client is being treated unjustly at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston.
Speaking to THE WEEKEND STAR, he disclosed that should the prison officials add undue stress that may worsen his client's medical woes, it would be an infringement on his rights.
A post on an Instagram account believed to be owned by the deejay, alleged that he has been placed on a 23-hour lockdown since phones were found on the block where he is being housed and that the lockdown is affecting his health as the cell is poorly ventilated.
"It [the post] has been brought to my attention. I can only address the issue of the 23-hour lockdown in contrast to his medical condition, and those concerns," he said.
"I can confirm that a claim is coming. It's not filed yet. In terms of a claim, one has to get some clarity from the court as to what is happening," he continued.
"I am in the stages of getting clarity on that information, in terms of whether there's proper communication between the medical department and what's being done because the prison is running differently. There's a changing of the guard. The changes that I am seeing are unusual. For instance, limitations on visitations for attorneys on a Saturday. I don't know if the new person is a Seventh-day Adventist. But even access to inmates on a Saturday is concerning," Buchanan said.
He furthered that the medical condition of Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, is no secret, and should correctional officials do anything to cause any further complications, it will be filed as an infringement against the deejay's rights and other privileges afforded to him as an appellant.
"It is public knowledge that Mr Palmer's health is not in the best condition. It is always a concern given the fact that he is getting private medical treatment that the State isn't able to pay for. I will respectfully say, and I'm trying to choose my words because I'm not being antagonistic now, but more so concerned. We do know that they're simply no facilities within the prison to care for ailing inmates," Buchanan said.
In response to the claims, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said it has launched an investigation after two cell phones were seized from Vybz Kartel a day apart at the facility.
The DCS confirmed that the artiste was among three inmates who were found in possession of the prohibited items on the block where he is being housed. One of the prohibited items was reportedly found in his possession last Friday and the other on Sunday during a search. However, the DCS rebutted the claim that the deejay is on lockdown, as he is being kept in his regular cell.
The DCS, however, said his movement has been restricted pending the investigation. It also indicated that it has not received any complaints from the artiste about his health.